238. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the emergency reception and orientation centre, Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon; the number of refugees facilitated to date in the centre; the number expected to the facilitated in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6702/18]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): A number of persons are temporarily accommodated in the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre (EROC) located in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, under the relocation strand of the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). As the name suggests, an EROC is largely about reception and orientation for those who are to be subsequently resettled and the majority of persons being relocated to Ireland are fleeing the war in Syria.
The services being provided include education, the services of a General Practitioner, HSE medical screening and access to the services of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. A core part of the job of the IRPP is coordination and ensuring appropriate service delivery and staff of the IRPP hold weekly clinics in the EROC with clients and any service level issues become immediately apparent.
The relevant services are provided locally or at the centre. The mode of service provision is determined on a case by case basis depending on the local situation and the individual circumstances of the asylum seekers. Services such as schooling and English classes are being provided directly to the children and adults at the centre. It should be noted that accommodating persons in EROCs for a period of time is considered to be good practice as it allows for a period of acclimatisation, de-stressing and on-site processing. It is also a process that is supported by the UNHCR as best practice.
Since Ballaghaderreen EROC opened in early last year nearly 300 people have resided there, with the current occupancy at 181.
The IRPP will relocate a further 204 people from Greece in the coming weeks and Government have also pledged to take a 600 refugees from Lebanon in 2018. Some of these refugees will be housed in Ballaghaderreen EROC. The exact numbers being housed there will be dependent on the movement of existing residents to their new homes in communities across the country.