Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Ceisteanna (288)

Peter Burke


288. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding allocated to an area (details supplied) in each of the years 2011 to 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50245/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the information that he has requested is not generally held on a per-locality basis and it is not possible to provide a comprehensive answer across the activities of my Department for the time period specified.

Further, the Garda Commissioner has responsibility for managing An Garda Síochána and for the allocation of Garda resources, including decisions with respect to capital investment in Garda stations. As Minister I have no direct role in these matters.

However, to be assistance to the Deputy, I have requested information on this matter from An Garda Síochána and I will provide it directly to the Deputy once it is received. I have also set out below an illustrative example of investment in the area.

An Accommodation Centre for International Protection Applicants opened in Horseleap, Moate, Co. Westmeath in April 2018. As the Deputy will be aware, while a claim for International Protection is being examined, the State is legally obliged to offer accommodation and related services to anyone without means - which includes all meals, medical care and utilities. A weekly personal allowance is paid to each person in a centre and exceptional needs are covered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Funding allocated for the establishment and operation of this centre cannot be released at present as it is not in the interests of yielding best value for the taxpayer that details of current individual contracts are made available. This is in accordance with the Department’s policy on disclosure of financial information which was agreed with the Office of the Information Commissioner.

Since the publication of the McMahon Report (Working Group on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers), integration efforts have also been focused on the voluntary work of the Friends of the Centre groups, as recommended in the report. Further support was provided through the Communities Integration Fund to the Horseleap/Streamstown Irish Country Women's Association for adapting existing community activities and events within the ICA to make them more inclusive for the migrant community.