Modern Problem, a new podcast examining Direct Provision, has been launched

The podcast dissects the history and controversy of the system - "Direct Provision is a state injustice exasperated by silence and secrecy."

direct provision

Modern Problem, a podcast examining Ireland’s controversial system of Direct Provision has been launched by Mayo-born journalist, broadcaster and writer, Jane McNamara.

Modern Problem, comes on the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Direct Provision. It seeks to inform, engage and widen understanding of what Irish Times journalist Kitty Holland has dubbed “Ireland’s hidden villages”.

The podcast features testimonials from a number of people currently seeking asylum in Ireland, vox pops from the general public, as well as insights from experts such as Lucky Khambule of MASI and Fiona Hurley of NASC. It has been three months in the making.

The podcast host McNamara has previously worked as a newscaster for RedFM, and is a regular contributor to The Echo newspaper in Cork. “Direct Provision is real, and it is a reflection of who we are as a society. With calls to ‘end Direct Provision’ growing louder as the pandemic plays out, it is more important than ever that we understand exactly what it is, and why and how it began,” she said.

The first episode of the podcast dissects Direct Provision by looking at its history and controversy. The second episode tells the story of a family currently in the system who have just been issued a deportation order.

Anna Cosgrave, a researcher, former assistant to Lynn Ruane and founder of the Repeal Project, has been advising on the project.

Speaking about Direct Provision and the podcast, Cosgrave said, “As a white middle-class Irish woman, I must actively work to dismantle institutional racism. Direct Provision is a state injustice exasperated by silence and secrecy. As someone interested in education, building empathy and effective change, Jane’s vision for Modern Problem was one I wanted to get behind.”

“Centering those living within the system and those working to dismantle it is vital to equipping people with the knowledge and lived experiences to act,” she added.

Modern Problem is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

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