Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Direct Provision System
507. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality when State owned direct provision centres will be converted to independent living centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6994/20]
I can inform the Deputy that the Office of Public Works (OPW) is responsible for all maintenance and improvement works in the seven State-owned accommodation centres for persons seeking International Protection. Independent living has been introduced in one of these centres, in Athlone, which has a capacity of 300 persons.
My Department has been in discussions with the OPW regarding the required works to introduce independent living in the remaining six centres and design works has commenced. My Department in partnership with the OPW will seek to progress these works at the earliest opportunity.
As the Deputy will appreciate, in light of the current situation and the Government restrictions on indoor construction work, it is not currently possible to provide a timetable for these works.