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
Thursday 7 December 2023 Dublin: 11°C
Shutterstock/Wirestock Creators File photo
direct provision

Nine people died in asylum seeker accommodation in Ireland last year, highest figure since 2008

That’s according to data from the International Protection Accommodation Services.

NINE PEOPLE DIED in asylum seeker accommodation last year, the highest annual figure since 2008, meaning 104 people have now died in the Direct Provision system since 2002.

Data from the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) show that last year six men and three women who were in IPAS accommodation died – three onsite and six offsite.

It brings to 104 the number of people living in asylum seeker-related accommodation who have died since records were first gathered back in 2002, and is the joint highest annual number of deaths in that period.

The latest annual figure on deaths in the asylum seeker system comes amid unprecedented levels of people seeking international protection. As of last week there were 20,020 people in IPAS accommodation, almost double the number in March 2022.

More than half of those are in emergency accommodation centres and at the latest count, 551 people did not have the offer of accommodation.

A spokesperson for the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said: “In relation to the increase in deaths, there is a significantly larger population who are being accommodated by IPAS, nearly double that of the period of the last publication of these statistics. As a corollary, it would be expected that there would be a proportional increase in the number of deaths, as is reflected in the statistics.”

A total of 70 men and 30 women died in Direct Provision between 2002 and the end of last year, in addition to another four people whose gender was unknown. 61 of those who died were aged between 26 and 55, while 19 were infants aged two or under.

The cause of death includes cancer, circulatory illnesses and accidents poisoning and due to violence, although the cause of 31 deaths, the largest category, was described as not known.

Since 2002, 34 people in IPAS accommodation have died in Dublin and 19 in Cork.

Brian Collins, advocacy service manager with Nasc, said any death in the system was a tragedy.

“It is always deeply upsetting to learn of someone passing away in Direct Provision,” he said.

“We do not currently have information on the causes of deaths from the past year. In many cases, however, this will mean people having died far away from their families and countries of origin, which is tragic. In those circumstances, it is also so important that respect is shown to the preferred religious or cultural traditions of those who have passed away,” Collins said. 

“We would also encourage the relevant agencies to adopt a compassionate approach when deciding visa applications from family members of the person who passed, who may wish to travel to Ireland temporarily for funeral or burial services,” he said.

“It is also important to link others living in Direct Provision, who may be impacted by the death, with support services, where appropriate.”

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