Mum forced to carry sick child home from hospital on her back

The Eglinton direct provision centre in Salthill.

A mother of two carried her five-years-old sick child home from hospital to Salthill, because she couldn’t afford transport.

The woman and children are asylum seekers living at the Eglinton Direct Provision centre in Salthill. The family has sought asylum in Ireland within the past year.

Her eldest child, a boy, fell ill recently and was brought by ambulance to University Hospital Galway.

After receiving treatment, the child was released from the care of UHG but they had no transport to bring them back to Salthill.

The Eglinton is on a bus route, the 401, but it does not pass-by UHG. In any event, it is understood the child was discharged late in the evening when bus services aren’t operating.

The woman receives a weekly allowance of €19.10 per week, and so could not afford to take a taxi home. Instead, she carried her son on her back and walked the two miles from UHG to Salthill.

The incident is not an isolated one, and highlights a broader issue of a lack of transport at Direct Provision centres, according to Galway Anti-Racism Network (GARN).

“There is another woman who is seven months pregnant, who used to walk to hospital for all her appointments but can no longer do so.

“You also have parents who walk their children to school every day from Salthill to the Mercy and Presentation in town, walk home again and then walk back in to collect them and walk them home again in the afternoon. They do this in all weather, because there is no transport,” a spokesperson for GARN said.

Sometimes residents at Eglinton will buy a saver bus pass for €4.50 and pass it around among each other to use for multiple trips, he said.
For the rest of this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune. Buy a digital edition of this week’s paper here, or download the app for Android or iPhone.