The Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland (MASI) has described as "degrading" a newly introduced requirement that asylum seekers staying at the Red Cow Moran Hotel wear red wristbands.

The hotel is currently being used exclusively to accommodate people seeking international protection in Ireland.

MASI said the measure was highly unusual and held a meeting with residents at the hotel over the weekend.

In a tweet showing the red plastic wristbands it said that residents were "angry" at their introduction, describing the measure as degrading and dehumanising.


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MASI spokeperson Bulelani Mfaco said that residents took "great exception to being tagged as if they were livestock."

Mr Mfaco said that the plastic red wristbands were stigmatising and led to people being visually identified as asylum seekers outside of the hotel.

"Those (red wristbands) actually draw a distinction. People will be able to identify them as asylum seekers when they are walking around the street."

"Those measures are deplorable, they undermine the right to privacy and to dignity," Mr Mfaco said.

CEO of the Irish Refugee Council Nick Henderson said that while these were "challenging and unprecedented times... there is a need for care and sensitivity in how supports are provided."

"We must also be mindful of the principle of not stigmatising people or directly or indirectly identifying someone as a protection applicant without their consent" Mr Henderson said.

The Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said that management at the hotel "have used wristbands as a temporary contingency measure to ensure that only hotel residents can avail of catering facilities on site."

The Department said that this was being done "in order to ensure services can be delivered at scale to meet the needs of new incoming arrivals."

It said that "hotel management further advise that they will shortly introduce a token system for meals" instead.