Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Direct Provision System
334. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if he will investigate complaints made by the residents of a direct provision centre (details supplied) relating to students not having access to laptops as requested, insect infestations in some rooms and denial by management of cooling fans requested by residents. [10803/20]
A number of measures were introduced in the Skellig Accommodation Centre in Cahersiveen in recent weeks to make life more comfortable for the residents and in particular the children who are living there.
Families with children were provided with arts and crafts materials, toys, books and tablets, to use as they wished. This was coordinated by the local Family Resource Centre with the cost of the tablets specifically covered by Tusla. Additionally, I am advised that the service provider at the centre has provided 12 laptops for residents’ use, including the children of school going age.
All international protection accommodation centres are contractually obliged to have Wi-Fi available to residents and TVs are provided in all bedrooms to enable children to access web-based educational resources and educational programmes such as the RTÉ Home School Hub, which is an additional support for parents and primary school pupils.
With regard to issues related to warm weather, I am advised that during the recent period of exceptionally warm weather, it took some time to adjust the central heating system but that this issue is now resolved. Centre management has advised that during the Summer months it would not be unusual for some flies to come through any open window but there is no question of an infestation of insects on the premises. Fans are available to residents upon request.
My officials have held two virtual clinics with residents in the centre in recent weeks and an unannounced visit to the centre was made by a senior official in my Department last Thursday (11 June). No issues were identified by my official from this visit.
I hope this information provides the Deputy with some reassurance on the issues raised. My Department officials and I will continue to work closely with centre management to ensure the comfort and safety of all residents in the centre.