Since September 2018, due to a lack of capacity within our accommodation portfolio to meet the demand for accommodation for persons seeking international protection, temporary accommodation has been provided in a number of hotels and guesthouses. Temporary accommodation was sought by way of public advertisement, and the company referred to by the Deputy responded to this request.
It should be noted that it is on foot of public health advice that residents of our centres are requested to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 or if they are close contacts of others who test positive. This is to protect the health and wellbeing of other residents. The decision to move a resident into self-isolation is not a matter for a contractor or for a centre manager.
Where a person sadly dies while they are being provided with accommodation by the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) of my Department, we work closely with the centre manager to assist the person’s next of kin, if known, in accessing the supports provided by the State, and to ensure that any residents affected by the death are assisted in accessing services that can support them. All deaths and serious incidents that occur within accommodation centres provided by the Department are referred to the Gardaí as a matter of course and the Gardaí in turn refer all deaths to the local Coroner’s Office.
In addition, my Department has funded an in-reach service with Monaghan Integrated Development and the Jesuit Refugee Service for residents of these emergency centres to identify issues or concerns needing to be addressed.