351. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of asylum seekers, single and family units being accommodated in temporary accommodation in Bray, County Wicklow in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28276/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) has arranged the provision of emergency accommodation for international protection applicants since September 2018 due to the increasing numbers of people arriving in the State seeking international protection. RIA had reached full capacity in its centres at that time.
As of 23rd June, RIA is accommodating 872 people in 28 emergency accommodation across the country. RIA will continue to use emergency accommodation for as short a time as possible and is actively working on securing additional capacity, both in existing centres and through sourcing new centres via a national procurement process.
The Reception and Integration Agency (RIA) of this Department, has a legal duty to protect the identities of persons in the international protection process and must be mindful of the right to privacy of applicants when responding to specific queries. As such, while I can confirm that the Department is using temporary emergency accommodation in Co. Wicklow, RIA cannot confirm the specific emergency accommodation locations or exact family configuration as this could lead to the identity the applicants becoming known. I can however confirm that as of 23rd June 2019 there were 79 people residing in emergency accommodation in Co. Wicklow, this includes family units and single people seeking international.
The Department put out an expression of interest seeking bed and board in hotels and guesthouses on a 12-26 week basis for emergency temporary accommodation for international protection applications. Premises in County Wicklow were sourced on that basis. RIA continues to work to identify additional accommodation centres for new applicants.
RIA is working very hard to ensure that residents in emergency accommodation are re-accommodated in an accommodation centre as quickly as possible.