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Minister appoints independent group to track progress on ending Direct Provision

Erik G

MINISTER FOR INTEGRATION Roderic O’Gorman has appointed three people to an independent group responsible for tracking progress on the government’s plan to end direct provision and replace the system with not-for-profit accommodation.

The group will measure progress against the objectives of the government’s White Paper to End Direct Provision, flag any concerns to the minister and publish independent reports which will be made public.

The three members are:

  • Catherine Day, former Secretary General of the European Commission and Chair of the Advisory Group on the Provision of Support including Accommodation to Persons in the International Protection Process;
  • David Donoghue, retired diplomat and former Ambassador to the United Nations;
  • Lorcan Sirr, housing policy expert and lecturer at Technological University Dublin.

The commitment to establish an external advisory group to provide independent oversight of the reform process is contained in the White Paper, which was published in February. 

Under the government’s new model, international protection applicants will spend no more than four months in six State-owned, not-for-profit centres before moving into their own accommodation. The government intends to establish a new international protection support service to be in place by 2024.

Announcing the appointments, the Minister said the group will “play an important role in the reforms we are enacting to bring an end to Direct Provision and replace it with a new system grounded in human rights and respect for autonomy”.

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He said work is well underway to bring an end to the Direct Provision system and his department is working with the Housing Agency to acquire the accommodation that will be needed.

The minister said his department has also begun to draw up the integration and support programme that will enable international protection applicants to live independently in the community after their initial four-month orientation programme.

“I would like to express my gratitude to Catherine Day, David Donoghue, and Lorcan Sirr for agreeing to give their time, energy and expertise to this important work,” he said.

“I look forward to engaging with them in the coming months as we work together to end Direct Provision.”

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