Thursday, 10 September 2020
Department of Justice and Equality
Direct Provision System
36. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if an inquiry or examination into the circumstances relating to the recent tragic death of an asylum seeker in emergency accommodation will be carried out; the form that examination or inquiry will take; and the expected timeframe of same. [22358/20]
I want to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased person in this tragic incident.
Where a person who is being provided with accommodation by my Department’s International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) sadly dies, a critical incident policy is in place to provide guidelines to my officials and to accommodation centre managers and their staff. My officials 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 support services.
My officials have contacted the HSE to request that all necessary supports are made available to the staff and residents at the centre concerned at this difficult time.
All known deaths and serious incidents that occur within accommodation centres provided by IPAS are referred to An Garda Síochána as a matter of course and the Gardaí in turn refer all deaths to the local Coroner’s Office. As such, the decision to carry out a formal investigation into the circumstances of sudden death of a resident of an accommodation centre rests with An Garda Síochána and the Coroner’s Office.
As is the case with all Gardaí and Coronial matters, my officials are not privy to information pertaining to individual investigations carried out under their remit. The only function of my officials is to provide information to An Garda Síochána and the Coroner’s Office when it is necessary to do so.