Our friend was badly let down by the State': Calls for transparency around deaths in Direct Provision one year after Sylva Tukula's burial

Amach! LGBT+ is shocked and saddened by the information included in the journal.ie article on deaths in Direct Provision. The article includes a reference to our friend, Sylva Tukula. In August 2018 Sylva Tukula,our friend, a transgender woman, was found dead in the all-male Direct Provision centre in Galway. Despite our repeated requests to be notified of her burial arrangement so that we have an opportunity to pay our respects and celebrate her life, in June 2019 we learnt that Sylva was buried without any service and without us, her Galway family, being there with her. We have repeatedly requested an explanation to how that happened and never received a satisfactory answer.

While nearly two years have passed since we lost Sylva and a year since she was buried alone, the pain is still raw. We are heartbroken and we are angry by how the State failed Sylva, and then, failed our community. Sylva was disrespected and dehumanised in her life In Ireland and in her death. Her death represents all that is wrong in the Direct Provision system in Ireland and this article today reminds us that the fight against all forms of discrimination is not yet over. We are saddened to learn the truth about the motives behind her solitary burial but we are glad that the truth is now out, as ugly as it is. It reminds why we continue to fight for an end to the Direct Provision system in Ireland.

We appreciate that many may find the article hard to read as much as we did, and we therefore wish to remind you of the existing support service

LGBT Helpline 1890 929 539

TENI (Transgender support) 085 1477166

Samaritans 116123 or Samaritans.ie

Pieta House 1800 24 72 47

Aware 1800 80 48 48

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AMACH! LGBT Galway aims to reflect equally the diversity within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community by encouraging positive participation from the community. We actively advocate to achieve a solid and safe support structure for the LGBT+ community in Galway. We aim to provide awareness, educational and training events and workshops, and endeavour to support and promote a socially inclusive society.


Teach Solais LGBT+ Resource Centre and the office of AMACH! LGBT Galway CLG are located at 1 Courthouse Square, Galway H91 VF21.
Phone: 089 497 5162.