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'If they had not given us a permit to go and work, I do not think I'd be alive'

Direct provision is home for 160 health workers, writes Ellen Coyne

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Struggle: Taiwo Ayinde, who lives in a Mayo direct provision centre, said it broke her heart to see how afraid her clients had become. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Struggle: Taiwo Ayinde, who lives in a Mayo direct provision centre, said it broke her heart to see how afraid her clients had become. Photo: Keith Heneghan

Photo : Keith Heneghan / Phocus

Struggle: Taiwo Ayinde, who lives in a Mayo direct provision centre, said it broke her heart to see how afraid her clients had become. Photo: Keith Heneghan

When Taiwo Ayinde got home from work, her children knew to stay away from her.

Ms Ayinde, who is from Nigeria and lives in a direct provision centre in Ballyhaunis, worked as a home carer.

After arriving home, she would take off her uniform and put it straight into the washing machine. Then, she would go to the bathroom to wash herself "from head to toe". "Then, I could hug my children," she said.