Written answers

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Department of Justice and Equality

Asylum Seeker Accommodation

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

98. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if he will address matters (details supplied) regarding asylum seekers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46337/18]

Photo of David StantonDavid Stanton (Cork East, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

In January and again in September of this year, the Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of my Department published a call for expressions of interest in the national press for premises to meet the increasing demand for accommodation for persons in the protection process.

This call sought expressions of interest from parties who would be interested in providing accommodation and related services on an urgent and emergency basis. This was issued in response to the urgent and unforeseen demand for accommodation and related services from those persons arriving in the state seeking international protection.

The criteria against which the Department assessed the offers of accommodation were availability, standard of property, ability to provide communal social spaces for residents, ability to cater at mealtimes and proximity to required various services such as schools, shops, post office etc.

It should be noted that these premises were offered to the Department by individual contractors across the country. The Department did not randomly choose any one location over another location.

Following on-site assessments carried out by staff in the Department, the offer of the Atlantic Lodge in Kenmare was deemed to be suitable premises for the needs of the Department. The premises is available, decorated to a high standard, capable of providing meals to residents, has scope to provide the required communal social areas required by residents and is located close to a town with both primary and secondary schools, shops and a post office.

Senior staff in my Department also engaged with elected representatives from the area to provide them with as much information as possible about the opening of this accommodation facility.

As with every other accommodation centre in the country, my Department works closely with the HSE, the Departments of Education & Skills and Employment Affairs and Social Protection and all other relevant Government Departments and Agencies to coordinate the delivery of State services to residents.

The Atlantic Lodge is contracted to provide accommodation and ancillary services for 84 persons for one year. The residents will comprise a mix of families, single males and single females. They are from a wide array of locations including Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. All of the residents are engaged in a full assessment process in respect of their applications for protection and this will include security screening.

In the initial group arriving at the Centre, there will be 5 families with 8 children in total.

In order to meet the accommodation needs in the longer term, the Department has recently commenced a public procurement exercise under which public tenders for the provision of accommodation and ancillary services by way of the independent living model, to persons in the protection process, will be advertised. This process is scheduled for completion in 2020 and will be delivered via a series of regional competitions to cover the entire State.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.