[Sinn Fein]

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:

``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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