Family Reunification Applications

Ceisteanna (146)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

146. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a person (details supplied) can join their parent by way of a work permit or an alternative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22438/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Detailed information on the circumstances in which an Irish citizen can seek to sponsor a non-EEA national family member to join and reside with them in the State is contained in the INIS Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification. This information can be accessed on the INIS website at https://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/immigration-policy-family-reunification.

I am further informed that if the person concerned is a visa required national they must seek the appropriate visa for their circumstances. Each visa application is considered on its individual merits with the Visa Officer having regard to all of the information and documentation available. The onus rests at all times with the applicant to satisfy the Visa Officer that the particular visa sought should be granted. Guidelines on how to apply for particular types of visas are available on the INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie.

Information in relation to the criteria and application process relevant to employment permits is available on the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation website www.dbei.gov.ie at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Family Reunification Applications

Ceisteanna (147)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

147. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if spousal join will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22440/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As previously indicated to the Deputy in Parliamentary Question No. 88 of the 11th of April, the information provided is not sufficient to establish the correct identity of the individual concerned in order to provide a response on the matter.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (148)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

148. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the determination of eligibility for long-term residency and eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22441/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the position in the State of the person concerned remains to be determined. It also remains to be decided as to whether their position in the State falls to be determined in accordance with the process provided for under Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) or outside of that process. Once a decision has been made in relation to what immigration process should be applied to the immigration case of the person concerned, the outcome of that deliberation will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Naturalisation Eligibility

Ceisteanna (149)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

149. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the determination of eligibility for naturalisation in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22442/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy continues to be processed and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. If further documentation is required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Family Reunification Applications

Ceisteanna (150)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

150. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the spouse of a person (details supplied) can join them here in view of the fact that they were previously the holder of stamp 3; if spousal join is relevant in this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22443/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that detailed information on the circumstances in which the person concerned can seek to sponsor a non-EEA national spouse to join and reside with him in the State is contained in the INIS Policy Document on Non-EEA Family Reunification. This information can be accessed on the INIS website at https://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/immigration-policy-family-reunification.

I am further informed that if the person's spouse is a visa required national they must seek the appropriate visa for their circumstances. Each visa application is considered on its individual merits with the Visa Officer having regard to all of the information and documentation available. The onus rests at all times with the applicant to satisfy the Visa Officer that the particular visa sought should be granted. Guidelines on how to apply for particular types of visas are available on the INIS website at www.inis.gov.ie.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Leave to Remain

Ceisteanna (151)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

151. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if means can be found to facilitate an application to remain in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22444/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the person concerned applied on 12/10/2010 for a residence card as a family member of an EU citizen under the provisions of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations 2006 and Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council. They stated at that time that they were the spouse of a citizen of Portugal who was exercising EU Treaty Rights in the State. This application was refused on 19/04/2011.

On 10/05/2011 the person concerned sought a review of the decision to refuse their application. They were informed on 16/08/2011 that their review had been successful. They were provided at that time with permission to remain in the State on a Stamp 4EUFam basis for a period of five years – from 16/08/2011 to 16/08/2016.

The person concerned applied on 06/09/2016 to retain their permission to reside in the State. However, they were informed on 15/07/2017 that their application had been refused. They were informed at that time that the right of a third country national family member to accompany or join an EU citizen in a host Member State is a derived right, dependent on the EU citizen residing in the State in exercise of their EU Treaty Rights in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations and the Directive.

INIS was satisfied, based on the information available, that the EU citizen had departed the State in 2013 and, as such, the EU citizen had ceased to exercise EU Treaty rights in the State in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations and Directive at that time. As the Union citizen had not been exercising EU Treaty Rights in the State in accordance with the provisions of Regulation 6(3)(a) of the Regulations since 2013, the applicant’s derived right of residence under Regulation 6(3)(b) of the Regulations ceased from that time also.

The person concerned requested a review of that decision on 16/08/2017, which application is currently under consideration. This application is at an advanced stage of processing, and the person concerned should expect a decision on their application in the coming weeks.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Family Reunification Applications

Ceisteanna (152)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

152. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding a visa application for a spouse and child to join with a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22445/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the applications referred to by the Deputy were received in the Abuja Visa Office on 20 August, 2018.

The Policy Document on Family Reunification, first published in December 2013 and amended in December 2016, contains a stated business target that visa applications to join Irish citizens should ideally be dealt with within six months of receipt of application. However, it should be noted that this is a business target and does not constitute a legal obligation. The business target reflects the detailed and often complex assessment that is required to be carried out in relation to applications for family reunification.

While INIS endeavours to have applications of this nature processed as quickly as possible, processing times for visas can vary based on a number of factors such as the number of applications under consideration at the time, individual circumstances of the applicant and the sponsor, the complexity of applications and whether further information or investigation is required, and the resources available. Any delays in achieving the business target are primarily related to the processing of more complex cases where the provision of additional documentation is requested or where detailed assessments of family rights under the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights are required.

In this particular case, I am advised that additional investigation is required and due to the complexities of the case it will be some time before it is completed. Accordingly, I am not in a position at this time to indicate a precise date when a decision will be made.

The central concern, as with all visa services worldwide, in deciding on visa applications is to strike an appropriate balance between protecting the country's vital national interests by maintaining an effective immigration regime, while at the same time facilitating travel for those who meet the criteria. Each visa application is decided on its own merits taking all relevant factors into account.

The Deputy may wish to note that queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to INIS by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

In addition, applicants may themselves e-mail queries directly to the Abuja Visa Office (abujaembassy@dfa.ie).

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (153)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

153. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality when a person (details supplied) can obtain residency status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22446/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that there is no record of a request for permission to reside in the State from the person concerned.

I am further informed that it is open to the person concerned to write to Unit 5, Domestic Residence and Permissions Division, INIS, PO Box 12695, Dublin 2, setting out their current circumstances. Alternatively the person may email INISdefacto@justice.ie for further information on how to proceed.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy's view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Residency Permits

Ceisteanna (154)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

154. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a long-term extension of residency will be granted in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22448/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, if an application for asylum or subsidiary protection has been made in the State, for confidentiality reasons it is not the practice to comment on such applications or to provide comment on what stage such applications are at in the administrative process. Under section 26 of the International Protection Act 2015, it is an offence to identify an international applicant. As a result it would be contrary to national law for me or my Department officials to provide information which pertains to a protection applicant. The Chief International Protection Officer and his team of International Protection Officers are also bound by the confidentiality provisions of Section 26 of the 2015 Act to protect the identity of the applicant. The applicant or their legal representative should contact the International Protection Office directly either by email to info@ipo.gov.ie, by telephone to the IPO Customer Service Centre at 01 6028008 or in writing to Customer Service Centre, International Protection Office, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2.

Following the commencement of the International Protection Act 2015 on 31 December 2016, new arrangements for the investigation and determination of applications for international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection) and cases involving permission to remain in the State have been introduced. Such applications are now processed, as part of a single application procedure, by the International Protection Office (IPO) which has replaced the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC) from that date. The staff of that Office (the Chief International Protection Officer and International Protection Officers) are independent in the performance of their protection functions.

For your information, on 27 February 2017, the Chief International Protection Officer, following consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), published a statement on the Prioritisation of Applications under the International Protection Act 2015, which is available on the website of the International Protection Office (www.ipo.gov.ie).

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Garda Vetting Legislation

Ceisteanna (155)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

155. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the implementation of a standard validity period for all Garda vettings will be introduced in order of vetting applications persons must undergo; if vetting could be made transferable in a period particularly in view of the fact that volunteers regularly must be Garda vetted frequently; the reason details are not kept on a central database for future reference; if the matter will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22486/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

The Deputy will appreciate that the primary purpose of the employment vetting carried out by the National Vetting Bureau is to seek to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. It is carried out by An Garda Síochána primarily in accordance with the provisions of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Acts 2012-2016 and is, as I am sure you will agree, a very important task which must be done thoroughly and correctly. My Department has no role in the processing of individual vetting applications.

Regarding sharing of vetting between organisations, vetting checks are conducted by the Garda National Vetting Bureau for each new vetting application received to ensure that the most recent data available is taken into account. This is because once there has been any significant lapse of time between one employment and another, the original vetting disclosure must be reviewed to take account of any changes in information, such as more recent criminal convictions.

In addition, the Data Protection Acts require that any sensitive personal data which employers use in regard to their employees must be current, accurate and up-to-date. Importantly, the general non-transferability and contemporaneous nature of the current process also helps to protect against the risk of fraud or forgery in the process.

However, the Act provides for the sharing of vetting disclosures in certain circumstances by registered organisations; a facility which is of assistance in the health and education sectors, for example, in reducing the need for multiple vetting applications. Section 12(3A) of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012 (as amended) provides that two or more relevant organisations can enter into a joint written agreement in relation to the employment, contracting, permitting or placement of a person to undertake relevant work or activities, thereby providing for only one of the organisations being required to conduct vetting in respect of that person.

In general, the vetting process is working well and I understand that there are no backlogs or delays in Garda vetting at present. This efficiency has been achieved by the deployment of the e-vetting system which facilitates the on-line processing of applications for vetting from registered organisations. The current turnaround time for vetting applications submitted by organisations utilising the e-vetting system is 5 working days for over 85% of applications received. Individual applicants can track the process of their application online using the e-vetting tracking system, details of which are contained in the email received by applicants when completing their application online. Furthermore, in circumstances where there is such a sustained reduction in processing times, the issue of vetting “transferability” is largely obviated.

Naturalisation Applications

Ceisteanna (156)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

156. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of a naturalisation application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22492/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I am advised by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that the application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to by the Deputy continues to be processed and will be submitted to me for decision as expeditiously as possible. If further documentation is required it will be requested from the applicant in due course.

As the Deputy will appreciate, the granting of Irish citizenship through naturalisation is a privilege and an honour which confers certain rights and entitlements not only within the State but also at European Union level and it is important that appropriate procedures are in place to preserve the integrity of the process.

It is recognised that all applicants for citizenship would wish to have a decision on their application without delay. The nature of the naturalisation process is such that, for a broad range of reasons, some cases will take longer than others to process. In some instances, completing the necessary checks can take a considerable period of time.

Queries in relation to the status of individual immigration cases may be made directly to the INIS of my Department by e-mail using the Oireachtas Mail facility, which has been specifically established for this purpose. This service enables up to date information on such cases to be obtained without the need to seek information by way of the Parliamentary Questions process. The Deputy may consider using the e-mail service except in cases where the response from the INIS is, in the Deputy’s view, inadequate or too long awaited.

Coroners Service

Ceisteanna (157)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

157. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the body to which concerned families can turn to for accountability in circumstances in which a post-mortem report contains serious inaccuracies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22502/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Coroners are governed by the provisions of the Coroners Act 1962. They are quasi-judicial officials and are independent in the conduct of their functions.

Accordingly, as Minister, I do not have control over, or responsibility for, their operations or the manner in which inquests are conducted.

Where a coroner directs a post-mortem examination, such is conducted by a registered medical practitioner and the results furnished to the coroner.

As Minister, I have no involvement for the direction of, the carrying out of or the reporting of results to the coroner of post-mortem examinations by registered medical practitioners who conduct such examinations

The avenue for seeking a review of the coroner’s decisions is a Judicial Review application.

Garda Vetting

Ceisteanna (158)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

158. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his plans to enable parents to access Garda vetting for childminders to work with children as distinct from applications being taken only from organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22541/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy may be aware, vetting is carried out by An Garda Síochána primarily in accordance with the provisions of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Persons) Act 2012-2016.

At the time this legislation was being considered by the Houses of the Oireachtas, it was not considered appropriate or feasible for the State to require vetting in regard to a person’s private family arrangements including in relation to private babysitting and childminding arrangements.

That said vetting requirements may arise in the context of a scheme for registered childminders. The regulation of this sector is a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Ms Katherine Zappone T.D.

Direct Provision Data

Ceisteanna (159, 162, 163)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

159. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of temporary accommodation centres for asylum seekers nationally; the criteria and regulations in relation to the granting of contracts for temporary accommodation centres; the location and number of residents in these centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22551/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

162. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of persons in direct provision that are accommodated in emergency accommodation; the length of time such persons have been accommodated; the system in place for such persons to ensure access to supports and services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22594/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

163. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number, location, capacity and occupancy of each temporary direct provision centre; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22595/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 159, 162 and 163 together.

The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of my Department has been encountering considerable ongoing pressure on its accommodation portfolio. This pressure increased significantly from the second half of 2018 when the number of new applicants requiring accommodation began to exceed RIA's bed capacity.

In January 2019, in order to ensure that the State could continue to provide accommodation for all protection applicants, and continue to comply with the EU Reception Directive, the RIA placed an Expression of Interest for Emergency Bed provision in the national media. Such accommodation involves the use of hotel and guest house accommodation where RIA typically contracts a defined number of rooms within existing commercial hotels/guest houses.

As of 21st May 2019 there were 687 residents accommodated in 19 emergency accommodation locations. These are located in counties Cavan, Dublin, Meath, Monaghan, Laois, Louth, Wicklow and Wexford.

The relevant statistical data is contained in the following table:

-Duration of Stay

No. Of Residents

Less than 1 month

116

1 month - 2 months

111

2 months - 3 months

151

3 months - 4 months

77

4 months - 5 months

83

5 months - 6 months

60

6 months - 7 months

72

7 months - 8 months

11

8 months - 9 months

6

Total numbers in Emergency Accommodation (as at 21 May)

687

The duration of stay in the Emergency Accommodation is intended to be for as short a time as possible prior to being transferred to a contracted RIA accommodation centre when places become available. Family composition, ages of children and medical needs are factors which are taken into account.

Persons accommodated are provided with full board accommodation. SafetyNet, on behalf of the HSE, offers medical screening to those applicants who do not receive screening at Balseskin Reception Centre. Additionally, the RIA is liaising with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection to assist in the process of linking residents with local Community Welfare Services. Staff from RIA are meeting with the residents in these locations to discuss any issues that may arise.

Premises proposed for use as emergency accommodation facilities are inspected by RIA staff prior to opening, and their suitability is assessed, taking all necessary regulatory and legislative requirements into account.

Direct Provision System

Ceisteanna (160)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

160. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number and location of each emergency reception and orientation centre; the capacity of each; the number of residents living in each centre by length of stay in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22592/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Persons arriving in Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) are initially accommodated in Emergency Reception and Accommodation Centres (EROCs).

Two EROCs are in operation. These are:

- The Abbeyfield Hotel, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon

- The Clonea Strand Hotel, Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

In addition, the IRPP has the use of dedicated EROC places within the Mosney Accommodation Centre, Julianstown, Co. Meath. These places are currently being allocated to the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) but will revert to the IRPP later this year.

EROC

CAPACITY

CURRENTOCCUPANCY

AVG. LENGTHOF STAY

Abbeyfield Hotel EROC Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon

200

181

70 days

Clonea Strand Hotel EROC Dungarvan, Co. Waterford

125

103

69 days

Mosney EROC1

Julianstown, Co. Meath

200

113

156 days

TOTALS

525

397

1 The IRPP formerly had the use of 200 dedicated EROC spaces in Mosney Accommodation Centre. These spaces are not currently available to the IRPP and the 113 spaces now occupied by IRPP beneficiaries are in the process of being returned to the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) on a temporary basis but will revert to the IRPP later this year.

Direct Provision System

Questions Nos. 162 and 163 answered with Question No. 159.

Ceisteanna (161)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

161. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the body or organisation with responsibility for the oversight of emergency reception and orientation centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22593/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the vast majority of persons arriving in Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme are initially accommodated in Emergency Reception and Accommodation Centres (EROCs).

Accommodating persons resettled under the UNHCR led programme in EROCs is considered to be good practice. It allows for a period of acclimatisation, rest and recovery. The supports provided in EROCs include education, for example, English language classes, HSE medical screening and access to the services of the relevant departments.

Oversight for the conditions in centres is the responsibility of the Reception and Integration Agency within the Department of Justice and Equality. The Irish Refugee Protection Programme is responsible for the welfare of refugees admitted to Ireland under its programme. Residents may also have access to the services of the independent offices of the Ombudsman the Ombudsman for Children.

Questions Nos. 162 and 163 answered with Question No. 159.