Exploring Direct Provision

 Dr Liam Thornton has launched his new project Exploring Direct Provision. ‘Direct provision’ is shorthand for the range of supports and rights asylum seekers are supposed to be entitled to  in Ireland. Now entering its twentieth year, the much critiqued system of direct provision continues to provoke controversy in Ireland. Exploring Direct Provision makes available for the first time, over twenty years of documentation obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Given that the system of direct provision did not have any statutory basis until 2018, these documents provide a fascinating insight into the inner workings of Government and government departments who established the system of direct provision. The Direct Provision Files provide asylum seekers, researchers, lawyers, activists, NGOs, policy makers, parliamentarians, Government, and civil servants with a rich resource to examine how the system of direct provision emerged and developed over a twenty-year period.

Over 2,000 pages of documentation were scanned for this project by project assistant Róisín Dunbar, from 350 different files. These were organised into 79 core filesets (as of 01 November 2019) by Dr Thornton. Liam collated this information, and has provided a database with a brief narrative to enable persons with an interest in the system of direct provision to understand the underlying rationale for its introduction, and explore its continued operation in Ireland. Website design, development and communication design expertise was provided by Danielle Curtis.

Liam was awarded UCD Seed Funding for Exploring Direct Provision, which ensures the project can continue, with regular updates through December 2020. You can follow the progress of this project on Twitter: @ExploringDP. As well as making available these documents, Liam will regularly provide brief blog posts focusing on particular aspects of the system of direct provision. You can read more about the rationale for this project here.