Shatter pledges to publish all inspection reports for asylum accommodation centres

There are 34 asylum accommodation centres run by private companies which accommodate 4,600 people

 Minister for Justice Alan Shatter

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter

Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 08:06


The Government is to publish inspection reports into conditions at State-funded accommodation centres for asylum seekers for the first time, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said yesterday.

He made the pledge in a Dáil debate regarding articles in The Irish Times earlier this week, which reported evidence of overcrowding, poor fire-safety practices and lapses in hygiene across several centres.

There are 34 asylum accommodation centres run by private companies which accommodate 4,600 people.

Yesterday, Mr Shatter told the Dáil inspection reports carried out by the Reception and Integration Agency – the State body responsible for asylum seekers – will be published from October 1st.

He said the contents of reports published in The Irish Times indicated the inspection regime was working.

“Finding things which are wrong and having them fixed is the purpose of a good inspection regime,” he said.

While there has been trenchant criticism of the direct provision system from health professionals and campaigners, Mr Shatter defended it on the basis that it made economic sense and provided shelter for all asylum seekers. He said while the “system has its faults”, it was misleading to characterise our system as inadequate or inappropriate. “All EU member states operate systems for dealing with asylum seekers which ... greatly restrict their access to welfare, work or independent housing.”