27 August 1998
Decision on Romanian refugees in County Monaghan criticised
Cavan/Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has criticised the decision of the Department of Justice to deny asylum to 47 Romanian gypsies who have been living in Castleblaney, County Monaghan since they entered Ireland at the start of August. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
``It is strange that while most other applications for asylum take many months and even years to process, these applications have been dealt with in the space of a couple of weeks. It seems that a signal is being sent by this action that such refugees are not to be given succour anywhere.
``This decision illustrates the chaotic and unfair situation with regard to asylum seekers. In a letter to the Minister for Justice today I have reiterated my call for:
- The full implementation of the Refugee Act
- A Charter of Rights for Asylum Seekers
- The right of asylum seekers to work and study while they await adjudication
- An amnesty for those asylum seekers at present in the country.
``This issue has been distorted by often husterical media coverage about `floods of refugees' when the reality is that by European standards Ireland has very few refugees and immigrants.''
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