Asylum seekers who paid thousands of Euro to travel to Ireland say they are now living on the streets with nowhere to go.
As part of a report for Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Josh Crosbie spoke to asylum seekers seeking help from the Eire Nua Food Initiative on O’Connell Street.
Two men from Syria told him they travelled to Ireland on fake passports after paying thousands to criminals to bring them here.
“I left Syria in 2021 and I lived in Lebanon,” said one. “I was working there two years and I met another person who told me, OK, if you need travel, I can help you with this but I need money.
“I paid them, I don’t know in Euro, but in dollars, it is €5,000 to €6,000.”
He said they travelled by truck across Europe before taking a plane to Ireland.
“My family is dead,” he said. “My father and mother.
“I have one brother but I don’t know where he is. I lost him four years ago. I don’t know if he is alive or dead. I don’t know.
The other man said he paid around much more to come to Ireland.
“They took from me like $14,000,” he said. “All what I have.
“We don’t know where to go. I’m back here to see where I will sleep. I need to sleep. We are like homeless now.”
The Capuchin Day Centre provided more than 1,100 food parcels this morning.
It comes as emergency shelter has been paused at the Citywest hub.
— Josh Crosbie (@JoshCrosbie3) January 25, 2023
The Capuchin Day Centre Manager Alan Bailey said there has been a “huge increase in demand” in recent weeks.
“We have been advised now by Government that there is an influx of refugees expected,” he said. “We are gearing up for that and we are ready for them if they do arrive.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen or what the outcome is going to be or what the numbers are going to be – but all we want to do is send out the message that we’re ready for it.”
He said there are people arriving seeking help who “never expected to be here”.
“But if they’re here, they’re welcome and we’ll look after them.”
One mother from Romania told Josh she has been sleeping rough on the street with her one-year-old child since arriving last week.
“I came here looking for a job,” she said. “I have my daughter with me, she is one years and two months but nobody will help me.
“I’ve been here for six days and I sleep on the street with the baby.”
She said she now regrets travelling to Ireland.
“She needs a bath, she needs food, she needs everything,” she said. “I just want to work.
“We’ve been sleeping on the street. We’ve slept at the airport. Last night, I slept at the hospital because there’s no place to sleep.
“I can’t stay outside because it’s too cold. It’s too cold and you see, I have my baby in a pram.”