Direct Provision Manager Calls Gardai on Asylum Seeker After Served With Environmental Complaint.
Breda Keane Shortt, the manager at a Direct Provision centre in Cork, called the Gardai on an asylum seeker after they served her with a complaint for a violation of the Environmental Protection Act 1992, on 06 March 2023.
The Complaint alleges “Despite several attempts to resolve the dispute with Keane Shortt, she failed to take adequate measures to remedy the situation,” which has rendered their space at night “virtually uninhabitable.” When the Complainant made attempts to hand the Complaint to Keane Shortt, she refused. The Complainant then politely asked Keane Shortt’s son, who works at the Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, if he would accept service for her on her behalf, and he refused. When this failed, the Complainant gently placed the Complaint on Keane Shortt’s car. Keane Shortt then demanded that security remove the Complaint. When the Complainant removed the Complaint from Keane Shortt’s car, she called the Gardai. She later retaliated against the Complainant—using her authoritative position with International Protection Accommodation Service—to issue them a disciplinary notice.
Toxic Management at Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre
A group of asylum seekers further allege Keane Shortt’s management style is toxic. A few months ago, asylum seekers gathered together to complain about the lack of parking space at Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre, and requested to have a meeting with Keane Shortt. Asylum seekers allege Keane Shortt intercepted the petition and refused to have discussion. Some of those whose names were on the petition were evicted from Kinsale Road Accommodation Centre under mysterious circumstances.
Direct Provision Manager Calls Gardai on Asylum Seeker After Served With Environmental Complaint. Other Asylum Seekers Are Afriad of Keane Shortt’s Toxic Leadership.
I interviewed a group of female asylum seekers who said, “We are afraid of her.” When asked to come forward, they said “We are afraid she will evict us. She has done it to our friends. We have children. We need to keep them safe.” Asylum seekers in the past have alleged that Keane Shortt opened private letters and shared their content with the International Protection Office.
Repatriation through coercive means is a breach of Art. 33 of the Refugee Convention. In MSS v. Belgium and Greece, the Belgian authorities engaged in coercive repatriation efforts to force the applicant back to Greece, where he lived in permanent fear of being attacked and robbed. The ECtHR found State’s efforts amounted to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The District Court will hear the case on 24 March 2023.