Direct provision agency responds to complaints from Monaghan residents
By Chinedu Onyejelem
The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) says it “takes seriously all complaints made to it”.
The statement comes following a report in the 1-14 February edition of Metro Éireann that highlighted abuse claims by residents at the direct provision centre in Monaghan town direct.
The article quoted a resident of St Patrick’s who alleged “poor standard of food” and “unhygienic conditions” as well as “intimidation” from management, and even night-time evictions.
The RIA has told Metro Éireann that it is not true that residents are evicted from the direct provision centres under its auspices.
Residents who have been granted “some form of status
” are no longer “ordinarily entitled to the accommodation supports provided through RIA”. But the Department of Justice agency says it has “always continued to provide such persons with continued accommodation until they secure their own private accommodation.”
The RIA added that it is “particularly mindful of the reality of the housing situation in the State” and related pressures on rent supplement, assistance and housing lists.
“The Government is committed to ensuring that persons who are availing of State-provided accommodation, including those who have come to Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, are supported in sourcing and securing private accommodation,” it said.
Regarding the allegation that management printed and placed discriminatory notices on shower doors in predominantly Muslim sections of the centre, the RIA said they were the subject of immediate investigation as soon as it became aware.
“While the contractor has not been able to establish who is responsible … the display of inappropriate posters cannot be regarded in any way as being acceptable.”
The agency added that it carried out an “unannounced inspection” of the Monaghan centre on 6 December, prior to the complaint being received that month, and “nothing untoward in terms of these notices was observed. Another unannounced inspection was carried out in early January, and again the RIA says nothing untoward was found.