Time to process refugee applications doubled from 15 to 30 weeks last year

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) says there has been slow implementation of recommendations from a 2015 report

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File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

The time it takes to process refugee applications doubled from 15 to 30 weeks last year - despite a series of recommendations to speed up the system.

The former chairperson of a working group tasked with examining the direct provision process here says asylum seekers who have been in the system for more than five years should be granted asylum as soon as possible.

5,000 people are currently living in direct provision, and a quarter of those are children

It is said to cost €11,000 a year to accommodate a person in direct provision.

Former chairperson of the Working Group on the Protection Process, retired Judge Bryan McMahon, says too many people have been living in limbo without the opportunity to work for an extended period.

The working group delivered their report last June, and it is claimed authorities have been slow to implement recommendations made in the report.

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) says that last year processing time for asylum applications doubled from 15 to 30 weeks for first instance cases before the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner.

Eugene Quinn, JRS Ireland National Director, said “in light of the indisputable evidence for reform, a continued failure to fully implement key recommendations and to invest the necessary resources, will inevitably result in the lengthy waiting times and unsuitable living conditions for asylum seekers continuing, with all its associated human costs”.