Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (923, 924)

Catherine Martin

Question:

923. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons currently living in the direct provision centre at Balseskin; the capacity of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33773/19]

View answer

Catherine Martin

Question:

924. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there are cooking facilities in the direct provision centre at Balseskin; his plans to provide additional cooking facilities there; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33774/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 923 and 924 together.

The facility at St. Margaret's Road, Balseskin, County Dublin is contracted by my Department to provide initial reception services to persons entering the state and seeking international protection.

During their stay in Balseskin, protection applicants are offered health screening and are processed for PPS numbers and medical cards. The purpose of Balseskin is to provide a short orientation period before residents are accommodated in centres around the country.

The capacity of Balseskin is 487 persons. On 18 July, the occupancy of Balseskin was 424 persons which includes applicants transferred from Hatch Hall accommodation centre prior to its closure.

Balseskin is a reception centre to meet the orientation needs of applicants in the short term. It is contracted to provide services on a fully catered basis and there are no plans to introduce cooking facilities for residents. The Department remains focussed on implementing independent living in the accommodation centres where people may reside in the medium to long term.