Statement from the Chair, Dr McMahon in relation to the resignation of Ms Sue Conlan, Irish Refugee Council

Resignation of Ms Sue Conlan, Irish Refugee Council from the Working Group on the Protection Process

Statement from the Chair of the Working Group, Dr Bryan McMahon (formerly of the High Court)

It is regrettable that Ms Sue Conlan, Irish Refugee Council (IRC) has tendered her resignation as a member of the Working Group on the Protection Process.

The deliberations of the Working Group are at a crucial stage with a number of Sub Groups developing their proposals for submission to the Plenary over the next number of weeks. It is unfortunate that the IRC could not continue to work within the Group and contribute to a final set of recommendations to Government aimed at showing greater respect for the dignity of those in the protection system and improving the quality of their lives as required by our terms of reference.

Over the course of the extensive consultation process undertaken by the Working Group during January and February including visits to accommodation centres we have heard eloquent testimony from protection applicants as to their experiences in the system. These contributions have informed the sense of urgency that has underpinned our work. Almost 40 meetings at Plenary and Sub Group level have taken place since I convened the first meeting on 10 November last. Our work has also been informed by oral submissions from experts including The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Dr Geoffrey Shannon among others.

There are of course views of varying shades among the membership but I am more than satisfied that all members are genuinely engaged in the task at hand, namely identifying a set of recommendations to Government for improvements that will bring tangible benefits to existing and future applicants.

Further information on the Working Group