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Teen (18) seeking asylum in Ireland left to ‘sleep on the streets’ after being refused shelter

‘They’ve told me there is nowhere for me to stay, so I will have to sleep on the streets tonight’

A homeless person on the street. FILE PHOTO

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

A teenage asylum seeker from Yemen has revealed that he has been left to “sleep on the streets” after arriving in Ireland yesterday.

Zachariah (18) is one of 31 asylum seekers who have nowhere to go tonight due to a shortage in emergency shelter.

The Department of Children and Integration says it is prioritising women and children, leaving men like Zachariah to source their own accommodation, Newstalk reports.

"I arrived in Dublin Airport last night,” he told listeners from outside the International Protection Office in the capital.

“I was going to sleep in the airport but I was told I could not stay there. So, I found shelter near the airport.”

The 18-year-old said he slept in a bus shelter last night and this morning was once again told there is no accommodation.

"They’ve told me there is nowhere for me to stay, so I will have to sleep on the streets tonight,” he said.

“I hope to find a building somewhere for shelter because it is very cold.

“I had no idea there would be no accommodation; if I had of known I would not have come here.”

Both of the teen’s parents were killed in the war in Yemen.

"My parents have passed away,” he told Newstalk. “The only family I have is an aunt who is in Somalia.

“I’ve come to Ireland alone; I have no family or friends here”.

The shortage of accommodation for asylum seekers is expected to continue for a number of days.

Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman was warned by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (HREC) today that Ireland is currently in clear breach of its international obligations regarding newly arrived asylum seekers.

"We are deeply concerned that newly arriving international protection applicants, who present as single people without children, will not be provided with accommodation,” it said.

The HREC warned that this is in “clear breach” of the European Communities Regulations 2018.

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