63. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if an investigation into the death in direct provision of a person (details supplied) will be commissioned; the circumstances in which the person was accommodated; if the reason the person was placed in a male provision centre will be determined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42444/18]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): I would first of alike to express my sympathies and condolences to the friends and colleagues of the deceased.
All deaths and serious incidents that occur within accommodation centres provided by the Department are referred to the Gardaí Siochana as a matter of course. As is the case with all Gardaí matters, the Reception and Integration Agency is not privy to information pertaining to individual investigations carried out under their remit.
I am informed that while no foul play is suspected in this case, an inquest has not yet taken place and that investigations are ongoing. Given the nationality of the deceased, this necessarily involves international enquiries and will take some time to complete.
All persons seeking international protection are offered material reception conditions (accommodation) under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018. In offering that accommodation a number of factors are considered including whether a person requires any special reception needs.
Where a person has disclosed their self-determined identity to the Reception and Integration Agency, they are, in so far as is possible and practicable, assigned accommodation based on their needs. At any time during a recipient’s stay in an accommodation centre, the option to request a transfer to a more suitable centre is also available to them.
After their arrival in Ireland, the person in question was assigned accomodation in Limerick. Shortly thereafter, they were offered and accepted a transfer to a male only accommodation centre in Galway. During their stay in Galway they participated regularly in activities within the centre and were also actively involved in the local support groups.
In offering accommodation, the policy objective of RIA is to promote equality, prevent discrimination and protect the human rights of all. Staff within accommodation centres receive regular training to equip them with the skills to support all residents.