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Like Ukrainian refugees, many of those living in direct provision have fled war-torn countries and persecution. Welcoming as many as 200,000 Ukrainian refugees is to be applauded. But, it is right too, to question the government’s treatment of the thousands of non-European asylum seekers living for years within direct provision, in state-sponsored poverty with their lives on hold.

It is fair too, to condemn Europe’s treatment of those trying to flee to here for sanctuary and a new life, who meet with brutal push-backs at our borders, only to freeze to death in forests and drown in seas. People entering this country, and continent, should be treated as equals regardless of the colour of their skin, or country of their birth.

I’m an Irish illustrator and graphic designer based in Wicklow. If you’d like to work with me or see my portfolio you can check it out at For a more behind-the-scenes take find me on Instagram @kateillus.

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