Over €82,000 spent flying destitute foreign nationals home

Reception and Integration Agency spent €27,000 on ‘nappies and miscellaneous’ items for asylum seekers

The Reception and Integration Agency last year spent €82,612 flying home destitute foreign nationals. Photograph: Getty Images

The Reception and Integration Agency last year spent €82,612 flying home destitute foreign nationals. Photograph: Getty Images

Fri, Jul 4, 2014, 09:33

The Reception and Integration Agency last year spent €82,612 flying home destitute foreign nationals, with the majority being Romanians.

The agency’s annual report also shows it spent €27,000 on “nappies and miscellaneous” items for asylum seekers living in direct-provision accommodation centres.

On the number flown home by the agency last year, the figures show it assisted in the voluntary repatriation of 323 people, with 60 per cent of those being Romanian.

According to the agency’s principal officer, Noel Dowling, “this represented a significant increase of 110 persons [34 per cent] and of €24,973 [43 per cent] since 2012, and may correspond with a general increase in destitution and homelessness nationwide”.

In contrast to the plight of those flown home by the agency, the direct-provision system continued to be a bonanza for firms providing services. The figures show that last year the agency paid €45.7 million to private firms in respect of commercially owned centres, and an additional €6.9 million to firms in respect of the management of State-owned centres.