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Contains an interview about anti-LGBT+ and anti-immigration violence.

In this season finale, The Irish Passport takes on one of Ireland’s most controversial issues: Direct Provision. The system for housing people who apply for refugee status in Ireland turns 20 this year. Tim Mc Inerney and Naomi O’Leary speak to Bulelani Mfaco, who fled persecution of gay and LGBT+ people in South Africa to Ireland in 2017, and now campaigns for the rights of those seeking asylum. We visit the Direct Provision centre he lives in to take a look at life on the inside, and find out why Mfaco describes the system as deliberate marginalisation of migrants and akin to racial segregation. Irish Times journalist Sorcha Pollak explains how the system came to be, and discusses the evidence that the system was deliberately designed to be unpleasant. In the wake of a series of arson attacks on planned Direct Provision centres, Pollak’s reporting has revealed that a small group of far-right activists are hijacking community meetings all around Ireland in an attempt to exploit unhappiness about Direct Provision and inflame anti-immigration politics that have so far skipped over Ireland. Finally, we explore cultural responses to the system, in a discussion with award-winning music group Rusangano Family, featuring their acclaimed song ‘Heathrow’.

We made bonus episodes specially to thank our Patreon supporters over on

A full interview with Bulelani Mfaco about life in Direct Provision can be heard here:

You can hear a bonus episode on Irish politics and the far right featuring political scientist Cas Mudde here:

Featuring editing by Alan Meaney .

Season 3 of The Irish Passport podcast is made with the kind support of Biddy Murphy, online sellers of genuine Irish goods. Check them out on

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @PassportIrish.

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