Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Ceisteanna (558)

John Lahart


558. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth the number of inspections carried out since January 2020 in St. Patrick’s direct provision centre, County Monaghan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7021/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Accommodation centres are subject to regular unannounced inspections by both my officials in the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) and an independent inspectorate company (QTS Limited). These inspections are generally undertaken, twice yearly by my officials in IPAS and once yearly by QTS Limited.

Inspectors examine all communal areas, bedrooms, kitchens and dining areas. Inspectors also examine occupancy registers, staffing records, health and safety documentation (including fire safety records), food preparation systems, menu cycles (in centres that provide full catering), facilities available to residents, information provision to residents and the condition of external grounds.

Inspections were suspended temporarily during the first phase of COVID-19 restrictions and recommenced on 14 September 2020 with all necessary safeguards in place. Following the re-imposition of Level 5 restrictions in January, inspections have again been suspended.

Officials from IPAS inspected the centre referred to by the Deputy on 24 September 2020. An independent inspection at the request of IPAS in respect of a particular matter (a pest infestation) was carried out by QTS Ltd. on 11 November 2020 and most recently a further full inspection was carried out by an IPAS official on 14 December 2020.

Completed inspection reports are published on once the contractor has been given the opportunity to comment on the findings and, if necessary, indicate how and when any required remedial work will be undertaken.