Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Wednesday 29 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Sam Boal/Rolling News Direct provision centre in Clondalkin in Dublin
direct provision

Public Accounts Committee 'not satisfied' with reliance on hotels for direct provision

The PAC has made a number of recommendations on the system.

THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS Committee has said it is not satisfied with the State’s reliance on emergency accommodation, including hotel settings, for Direct Provision centres.

A report published today recommends that all applications made by people for international protection are processed within nine months in a bid to reduce the pressure within the system. 

There are 44 Direct Provision centres providing accommodation for international protection applicants.

Seven are State-owned while the remainder are leased from private companies.

An additional 27 emergency centres are also in use, mainly in hotel-type settings.

There have been plans to phase out the current system used to house people in direct provision.

Today, PAC chair Brian Stanley said the type of accommodation being provided for people is not adequate.

The Sinn Féin TD said that the costs associated with Direct Provision are linked to the time taken to process applications from asylum seekers, so the PAC now recommends that all applications for international protection are processed within nine months.

He added that the Department of Justice needs to provide the PAC with “an update on current timeframes and the steps it is taking to reduce them”.

In its report, the PAC pointed to a 66 per cent increase in expenditure on accommodation for asylum seekers, rising to €130 million in 2019.

Due to a lack of capacity in Direct Provision centres €35 million of this was spent on emergency accommodation, an increase of 25 per cent from 2018.

The Department attributed this to an increase in the number of asylum seekers accommodated in 2019, according to the PAC report.

The recommendations have been made following discussion with the Department of Justice and the Irish Prison Service. 

It also makes recommendations on the detention of individuals on immigration offences, the policy surrounding protected discloses by whistle blowers within the prison service and canteen facilities in prisons.

The Committee said it was informed that Ireland does not have a specific detention centre for individuals who are refused entry to the State, or for those arrested for immigration reasons.

“While awaiting deportation, they are housed within the prison system. The Committee recommends that the Department examines the practice of detaining individuals within the prison system who are refused entry into the State and reports back to the Committee within six months,” it said. 

The PAC has also made a recommendation on Protected Disclosures by personnel within the Irish Prison Service. 

It said the Department of Justice should review the current policy to ensure that staff members can have confidence in the system.

It recommends that this review is carried out within six months and that it is furnished with a copy of the findings.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel