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28 May 2022

Increase in number of foreign nationals seeking Direct Provision is 'significant', Minister says

Increase in number of foreign nationals seeking Direct Provision is 'significant', Minister says

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A "significant" increase in the number of foreign nationals seeking asylum in Ireland has been observed by the government, according to one Minister.

The Irish Times recently reported that Green Party TD and Minister for Equality Roderic O’ Gorman has said that the number of people seeking international protection under the Direct Provision (DP) system has returned to pre-pandemic levels in recent months.

Last month, 333 people applied for protection in the State, up from 44 in 2020, while last year, just 60 people per month applied for international protection in 2020.

From July of this year the average is 241 per month, returning towards the pre-pandemic average of 320 per month.

It is also understood that the number of applicants in November was the highest since 2015.

Commenting on the figures, Minister O' Gorman said: "[Due to] the greater openness on international transport and international travel, it seems more and more people being able to access the State and seek international protection."

He further said that while the new figures "pose a challenge" in terms of DP accommodation, the govt is hoping to undertake a significant new tendering process to provide better accommodation in January next.

The Dublin-West politician added: "[This will] also allow for the accommodation of additional people seeking international protection."

In related news, The Irish Times two weeks ago reported that 29 people have died in DP since 2016.

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