The Sinn Féin leader says the direct provision centre in Mosney reminds him of Long Kesh
Gerry Adams says direct provision is like prison without the armed guards.
He has compared his experiences of the infamous Long Kesh detention centre in Northern Ireland to the way asylum seekers are treated in Irish centres.
The Sinn Féin leader has visited Mosney on several occasions - the former holiday camp where asylum seekers are forced to live while their applications are processed.
Under the system introduced in 1999, residents are not allowed cook, work or be educated beyond the Leaving Cert.
Mr Adams says it is a basic denial of human rights.
Speaking to Jonathan Healy on the Pat Kenny Show, Deputy Adams explained: "[In] Long Kesh [you had] the watchtowers and the armed guards and the barbed wire. Because of the layout of the place, that's what it reminded me off.
"One in six have already been given permission to stay in the state, but they're still stuck in direct provision because they've nowhere to go - they have no home, they have no job and so on and so on."
He argued: "It's no way for us to treat people. There are over 4,000 people in direct provision centres - almost 3,000 have been there for more than five years. Imagine the outroar if the Irish undocumented were being held in places like this in the USA or anywhere else."