Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.30 29 Jun 2020


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A white paper on replacing direct provision will be drafted by the end of the year, according to the Minister for Integration Roderic O'Gorman.

The Cabinet met on Monday afternoon to discuss COVID-19 and the multi-billion euro stimulus package planned for the economy.

Ministers also met their department officials as work begins after their appointments on Saturday.

On the way into the Cabinet meeting, Minister O'Gorman said there will be progress on figuring out how to replace direct provision.

"Within the Programme for Government the approach to this is through drafting a white paper, which will be drafted by the end of this year.

"The report of the Day Commission will feed into that and will influence that white paper.

"What the white paper will do is: a) give us the vision of what the new system for accommodating people who are in the international protection process here in Ireland will look like, but will also show us how we move to that particular model".

He also said he does not foresee difficulty in working with the Department of Justice, which formerly had responsibility for direct provision.

"I'm sure myself and [Justice] Minister [Helen] McEntee will be able to sit down and work closely together.

"We spent a lot of time on this entire area, the entire area of  immigration and integration, during the Programme for Government talks.

"It's the understanding of all three parties that this is an important priority for the new Government.

"I've no doubt I'll work closely with Minister McEntee and with other colleagues to hopefully bring a resolution to this issue".

It comes after a report, prepared by Dr Catherine Day, suggested sweeping changes to the existing direct provision system.

An expert group recommended extending the right to work to asylum seekers, and the exploration of alternative housing models.

The document also advocated clear guidance to ensure all applicants can open bank accounts, reducing the amount of time taken to process positive decisions and ensuring binding standards for centres are applied and enforced by January 2021.

It also recommended compulsory training and regular networking for centre managers, and moving away from the use of emergency accommodation.

The group also suggested working with the Department of Transport towards access to driving licenses.

A briefing note was sent to all TDs and Senators earlier this month.

Reporting by: Sean Defoe

Main image:  Minister for Children, Disabilty, Equality and Integration Roderic O’Gorman arriving for the first Cabinet meeting in Dublin Castle. Picture by: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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Direct Provision Dr Catherine Day Replacing Direct Provision Roderic O'Gorman White Paper

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