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Irish Refugee Council


37 Killarney Street, Mountjoy, Dublin, County Dublin

Irish Refugee Council

The Irish Refugee provides services and support to refugees and people seeking asylum in Ireland. We also advocate for improvements in the asylum procedure, reception conditions and in relation to Ireland’s engagement with EU refugee policy.

Our Vision

A just, fair and inclusive Irish society for people seeking protection.

The Irish Refugee Council believes, in accordance with the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, that every person has the right to claim asylum and to have their application considered in a fair and transparent manner.

Our Mission

To promote and enhance the lives of refugees in Ireland

Our Values


To work tirelessly and fearlessly to fulfil our charitable mandate to assist people seeking asylum in Ireland and bring about change to improve their lives.

Human Rights

The international human rights law framework, and the fundamental right to claim asylum, is at the core of our work.


We strive to be inclusive and representative of people in the asylum process and ensuring that their voice is prioritised and amplified at all times.


We will be experts in asylum law, policy and practice in order to ensure the best services and policy outputs.


We work together with other organisations, activists and individuals for the best interests of people seeking asylum.

The IRC priorities are delivering high quality legal support to asylum seekers; supporting and protecting children and young people in the immigration system; public awareness; and capacity building among key players in the asylum system in order to bring about change to practice and policy.


Our Drop-In Centre is the frontline service of the organisation and the first point of contact for service users. It provides easily accessible information and support to asylum seekers and refugees and ensures cross-referral of matters to other areas of competence within the organisation as and when necessary and external referrals to specialists.

Our Law Centre provides Early Legal Advice to persons seeking protection and representation in family reunification cases and other areas of law concerning the rights of refugees.

Our Integration from Day One Model includes:

  1. Rory and Aoife work on our Housing Programme which involves the delivery of housing to people who cannot exit Direct Provision in addition to key support for people moving out of DP or who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness.

  2. Charlotte coordinates our Education Access Programme which includes financial supports for people wishing to gain access to education or training in addition to advocacy work to make further education more accessible for people seeking asylum.

  3. Greta oversees our Employment Programme, which aims to assist people in accessing the labour market and getting job ready. This work includes a programme of work specifically with female refugees.
  4. Our Resettlement work supports people with refugee status across the country - promoting their rights and integration. Our Resettlement Officer Hassina works with individuals, families and the local communities into which refugees have been resettled, to assist them in their transition and resettlement. She also provides resettlement and intercultural training to staff, local communities and refugees.

Our Youth Worker Aoife provides specialist support to young people who are in or have been through the asylum process, particularly to enhance their voice in policies and laws that affect them, and to assist their welfare and personal development.

The Irish Refugee Council is also a ‘Regional Support Organisation’ (RSO). This means that we can help provide support to communities who are interested in sponsoring a refugee family under the Community Sponsorship Programme.

In addition to these services we also have ongoing policy, advocacy and awareness raising programmes of work and continue to pilot best practice models such as Early Legal Advice and Training of Interpreters working on asylum cases.

where your money goes

Any money raised is used to progress our work across all areas including, our free information and legal services, youth activities, integration programmes and advocacy and policy work.This revenue stream ensures our independence.


The IRC has its origins in a conference which took place in Dublin in 1988 entitled Refugees in Crisis. Organised by Aidlink, an overseas development agency, the conference was attended by more than 120 participants drawn mainly from religious orders and from development agencies working overseas. The conference concluded by setting up a working group to generate a plan of action, which would include increased public awareness, more coordination among agencies and possibly the establishment of a new network or organisation to facilitate better support and services to refugees.

After several meetings, it was decided to begin the work of setting up an Irish Refugee Council, intended as an ‘umbrella group’ for existing NGOs and agencies, and with a brief covering refugee and asylum work both at home and abroad. The group ‘went public’ with its plans at a meeting in 1989 with the Irish government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and other interested parties such as the government-sponsored Refugee Resettlement Committee (supporting Programme Refugees) and the Irish Red Cross (running a small refugee hostel in Dublin). This meeting focused largely on the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Ireland, and was also attended by representatives of the Refugee Advisory Service (a group of independent asylum lawyers set up in consultation with UNHCR), of Amnesty International’s Irish Section, which had been a crucial contact point for asylum seekers arriving in Ireland, and of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement.

In 1992 the IRC was formally registered as a limited company and subsequently obtained charitable status.

The IRC continues to work for and with men, women and children in need of international protection. We wish to thank those that have worked so hard to bring us to this day. Thank you for your wisdom, strength, integrity and your financial support! We will strive to continue to work towards an Ireland that provides a welcome and a home for those who are displaced from their own countries.

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