Over 4,000 seeking refugee status
The number of applications for asylum rose from 39 in 1992 to 3,883 in 1997 and a further 321 applications were lodged in January this year. The statistics, released by the Minister for Justice, Mr O'Donoghue, show that in 1994 refugee status was granted to four people, and to 208 in 1997. A total of 4,325 cases are outstanding.
Rent supplements are paid to 1,250 asylum seekers in the Eastern Health Board area and a further 1,100 asylum seekers are in hostel or bed and breakfast-type accommodation, the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs, Mr Ahern, told Mr Ivor Callely (FF, Dublin North-Central).