Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 1 April 2015
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions
Direct Provision: Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality
The overarching question is that of "when" with respect to people in the system. As the Deputy has quite rightly said, we do not want a report, with recommended actions and Government support, but no timeline for those actions to be taken. It is not my decision as to whether the report will be published but I assume it will. On receipt of the report we can collectively ensure that whatever actions are recommended can be seen to be enacted. The people in the centres and the system deserve and need that. They need us. People often correctly diminish politics in many circumstances but we are genuinely charged with the responsibility of looking after the interests of possibly the most vulnerable people in our country. If a report comes in that again heightens expectations and people finally believe - after years and possibly a decade or more of being in the system - that there is finally a breakthrough, the last thing they want is a report that is put on the long finger or not implemented as a matter of urgency.
I accept the invitation to return if we can view it as a collective effort, across parties and non-partisan, to put our efforts behind ensuring that recommendations can be driven forward if they are accepted by the committee. We have seen that done in the Seanad before.