A woman from Nigeria describes her experience living as an asylum seeker in Ireland.

Twenty five year old Nigerian lawyer Irene Oshodi-Glover and her two children have been living in Ireland as asylum seekers for almost a year.

I had to come here from home, because I needed to get away from home to save my life, and my children’s life.

Since her arrival, she says she has experienced nothing but racist insults and accusations of coming to Ireland for benefits.

In Nigeria, people have to work and only the old, sick or people with disabilities receive assistance.

I don’t see why I can’t fend for myself, I don’t see why I can’t work.

Irene Oshodi-Glover is critical of the role the government and the media have played in how Irish people perceive asylum seekers. While the Irish government gives some money to refugees, this does not provide quality of life.

We are like dogs in a cage and you bring us food every now and then.

As hundreds of Kosovar Albanian refugees are being welcomed to Ireland, Irene Oshodi-Glover is worried that the plight of others like her, will be forgotten.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 May 1999. The reporter is Deirdre McCarthy.