Asylum-seeker reveals anguish of Athlone direct provision

A resident of a direct provision centre in Athlone has admitted that fighting with depression and mental health issues was the biggest challenge while he awaited a decision on application for asylum in Ireland.

Vuyani Samuel Booysen, 31, arrived in Ireland four years ago for work, but after eight months of employment, he contacted Citizens Information with concerns over his role and he moved on from the job.

The father of two is currently seeking asylum in Ireland, and while he is waiting to be processed, he was allowed take part in a Special Purpose Award Level 6 HETAC Programme being offered by the Athlone Institute of Technology, which has now led him to a two-year course in civil engineering at the college.

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He hopes with his new qualification, he will be able to set up a permanent home in Ireland and is he is currently one of six residents of the direct provision centre in Lissywollen who is studying at AIT.

He says that before he was allowed on to the course, he often found conditions at the Direct Provision Centre difficult.