Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (290)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

290. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the breakdown of the nationality of those seeking asylum being accommodated in Mosney; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44222/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

My Department is responsible for offering accommodation and related services to international protection applicants while their claim for protection is being examined. Due to an unexpected rise in applications (figures are up 53% in the first nine months of this year), existing Direct Provision Centres, which offer accommodation, food, utilities and a suite of State services, have reached capacity.

I am advised that as of 20th October 2019, 7,537 persons were being provided with accommodation by the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS, formerly the Reception and Integration Agency) of my Department. Currently, there are 6,091 persons residing in the 38 accommodation centres located nationwide across 18 counties. As these centres are currently operating at full capacity, there are also a further 1,478 people being accommodated in emergency accommodation in hotels and guest houses. My Department does not disclose the location of emergency accommodation centres in order to protect the identity of international protection applicants.

There are currently over 700 people being accommodated in Mosney Accommodation Centre. Please see table below given breakdown of nationality of those seeking asylum being accommodated in Mosney.

Nationality of Mosney Residents as of 20th October 2019

Country Of Origin

Number of applicants

Albania

111

Nigeria

102

Pakistan

90

Zimbabwe

80

South Africa

56

Malawi

32

Congo DR

27

Syria

24

Iraq

18

Kosovo

13

Other

150

My Department has introduced a number of measures aimed at reducing the time taken to determine applications. The International Protection Act, 2015, introduced the single procedure process for the determination of protection applications. Under the single procedure all elements of a person's protection claim (refugee status, subsidiary protection status and permission to remain) are considered together rather than sequentially. The aim of the single procedure is to help reduce waiting times significantly.

An applicant who applies for international protection today can expect to receive a first instance recommendation/decision within approximately 15 months, provided that no complications arise. Prioritised cases are being processed in just under 9 months. Prioritised applications include those from countries such as Syria and Eritrea and from especially vulnerable groups of applicants, such as unaccompanied minors. My Department is aiming to reduce processing times for all first instance decisions to 9 months by the end of this year.