Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (601, 602)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

601. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of persons in direct provision centres in counties Cavan and Monaghan and north County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38155/20]

View answer

Niamh Smyth

Question:

602. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of direct provision centres and premises in counties Cavan and Monaghan and north County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38156/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 601 and 602 together.

There is one dedicated accommodation centre for international protection applicants located in Co. Monaghan and another in Co. Meath. There is no such centre in Co. Cavan.

As of 15 November, 228 people are accommodated at the St Patrick's Accommodation centre in Co. Monaghan and 604 people at the Mosney Accommodation Centre in Co Meath.

In addition there are 8 premises, hotels and guest houses being utilised to provide accommodation to protection applicants on short-term contracts. Of these, there is 1 in Co. Cavan, 3 in Co. Meath and 4 in Co. Monaghan.

As of 15 November, 28 people are accommodated in temporary accomodation premises in Co. Cavan, 61 people in Co. Meath and 183 people in Co. Monaghan.

The Deputy will be aware that the Programme for Government contains a commitment to ending the Direct Provision system and replacing it with a new International Protection accommodation policy centred on a not-for-profit approach. We have also committed to the development of a White Paper which will set out how this new system will be structured and the steps to achieving it.

My Department is currently developing the White Paper which I expect to publish by the end of the year. Consultations are currently underway and include discussions with the relevant Government Departments and agencies, the Offices of the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman for Children, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, relevant NGOs and housing bodies and representatives of residents of Direct Provision centres.

In order to meet our legal obligations to provide accommodation and other support services for protection applicants, existing accommodation centres will continue to operate in the short to medium term. ? However, in doing so we will be focusing on the provision of own-door accommodation and facilities to allow for independent living (access to cooking and laundry facilities and communal family areas outside bedrooms) and greatly reducing any need for the use of hotels and guest-houses as an emergency measure.