Still Leaving - a summary

13 Apr 2007

Recent, vulnerable Irish emigrants to the UK: profile, experiences & pre-departure solutions.

Emigrant Advice is a voluntary organisation that informs and advocates on behalf of intending Irish emigrants and returning Irish emigrants. The focus is on providing pre-departure information and support for those leaving Ireland or those returning to Ireland who are in unsupported or vulnerable situations.

For some time now Emigrant Advice have been getting reports from associated Irish community and welfare organisations in England that newly arrived Irish people with addiction problems are presenting to their services in unprepared, ill informed and very vulnerable situations. The reported reasons why people are travelling to England in such situations are many and varied but include:

  • The perception that drug treatment and detox services in the UK are better and easier to access.
  • Impulsive decisions made by people in chaotic and vulnerable circumstances.
  • Occasional reports of people fleeing threats of violence.

Unfortunately what has happened to some of these people is that because of their lack of preparation and support they have exacerbated their already vulnerable situation and there have been reports of people becoming homeless after arrival. There have also been reports of people's addiction issue becoming significantly worse because of delays and failures to access appropriate services and treatment on arrival.

Emigrant Advice is requesting the co-operation of a range of services in Ireland that work with people with substance abuse problems. We request that if you are in contact with a service user who has an intention of leaving the country please inform him or her of our service. It is a free and confidential information and advocacy service. For someone in a vulnerable situation thinking of leaving the country our service operates at four levels:

We ask the client to assess their options in Ireland and if they consider leaving the country to be their best option. With permission, this would be done with whatever services the client is already in contact with in Ireland.

We inform the client of their entitlements in the destination country, especially in relation to access to housing, welfare and health. We ensure that the client is aware of necessary and recommended documentation. Photo identification is necessary to access services in the UK. Where possible we link the client with appropriate services in the country of destination.

For more information on the situation in the UK and our service please contact Joe O'Brien, Information & Outreach Officer, Emigrant Advice, 1 Cathedral St., Dublin 1. Phone: +353-1-8732844.



Emigrant Advice is a project of Crosscare.