Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (926)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

926. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of children attending school living in the Hatch Hall direct provision centre; the measures that will be taken to allow them continue in their existing schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33776/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

Regretfully, due to circumstances outside the control of the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of my Department, the Hatch Hall accommodation centre will close on 15 July 2019. This was a commercial decision by the operator.

My aim is to limit, to the greatest extent possible, the disruption to families and to residents. Residents have status or permission to remain are receiving assistance from DePaul Ireland, which is contracted by my Department to find accommodation in the community.

Residents, including families, currently in the international protection process are being re-accommodated initially in Balseskin Reception Centre to minimise disruption and uncertainty. RIA will seek to allocate suitable permanent accommodation as soon as it becomes available within the RIA portfolio. However RIA is extremely limited by the current demands for its accommodation and by the absence of bed capacity within its system.

The Department of Education and Skills provides school places for children resident in RIA accommodation. All children in Ireland, including children seeking international protection, can access pre-school, first and second level education in a manner similar to Irish nationals, until they have reached the age of 18 years.