A family from Syria in the direct provision centre on Abbey Street in Ballyhaunis. Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Phocus

A surge in the numbers of asylum seekers living in direct provision saw the fees paid to private firms operating the network of centres across the cou(...)

Many of the direct provision centres have been the subject of high-profile protests by residents frustrated at the conditions. Photograph: Alan Betson

It was introduced to meet the needs of vulnerable asylum seekers. But private firms, rather than those seeking refugee status, appear to have been th(...)

The State pays firms about €50 million a year to provide bed and board for more than 4,000 asylum seekers. Housing in Mosney for asylum seekers (pictured). Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Private companies involved in providing accommodation for asylum seekers are highly profitable and in some cases have accumulated profits of millions (...)