Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Direct Provision System
383. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if the number of deaths in direct provision in the zero to five years age category is tracked; if this information is published or reported; the way in which this number compares to the general population; if there are differences in numbers between direct provision and the general population being addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11309/20]
All deaths and serious incidents that occur within accommodation centres provided by my 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. It is primarily a matter for An Garda Síochána to notify the next of kin of the death of a person if required.
As is the case with all Gardaí/Coroner matters, the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) is not privy to information pertaining to individual investigations carried out under their remit. IPAS provides information to An Garda Síochána and the Coroner’s Office as and when requested.
The International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) of my Department introduced its Critical Incident Policy on 29 November 2019. The Policy provides that once notified of a death, IPAS will record the incident. The Critical Incident Policy also sets out the guidelines for centre managers on what to do should a death occur in their premises. However, it should be noted that it is the Office of the Coroner who makes the official record of deaths. The IPAS record is only of deaths notified and it is not an official record because this function is held by the General Register Office, which is the central civil repository for records relating to Births, Marriages and Deaths in Ireland.
Sadly, four deaths (all of whom were adults) have been notified to the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) of my Department since the introduction of its Critical Incident Policy in November 2019.
Where a person dies while they are being provided with accommodation by the Department’s International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS), 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.