Leaving the most vulnerable behind: Reflection on the Covid-19 pandemic and Direct Provision in Ireland

UCD School of Sociology's Dr Egle Guscuite has recently had an article published in the Irish Journal of Sociology (IJS).  The article is titled Leaving the most vulnerable behind: Reflecting on the Covid-19 pandemic and Direct Provision in Ireland.


We want to be outside, we want to be with friends and family, and we want to feel like we can go anywhere. We want to be free. (An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, 2020)

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically altered our daily routines, social interactions, workplaces, future plans and social norms. Social distancing, isolating or ‘cocooning’, and avoiding all non-essential contact are the ‘new normal’. In one of his speeches, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar highlights the frustration felt by many in adapting to the ‘new normal’ and the longing for simple things we all perhaps have taken for granted. This, he goes on to say, is necessary to stop the spread of the virus and to ‘shelter our most vulnerable and [to] protect them’ (Varadkar, 2020). However, the measures taken to protect those deemed vulnerable have not been extended to include some 7700 international protection applicants living in Direct Provision centres. In this short article, I reflect on how asylum seekers, one of the most vulnerable groups in Irish society, have been left behind during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Link to the IJS article.

The IJS editorial team is made up of academics from the UCD School of Sociology.

Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Mathew J. Creighton

Co-Editors: Thomas Grund, Aogan MulcahySara O'Sullivan