There are currently 272 asylum seekers living in direct provision centres in Kerry.
That’s according to figures from the Reception and Integration Agency, released by the Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald in response to a Dáil question.
The agency is responsible for the accommodation of asylum seekers while their application for asylum is being processed. There are 4,250 asylum seekers from 17 different countries living in 35 direct provision centres across the country; 78% of the available places are filled.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald says there’s a need to always retain some spare capacity, given that requirements are subject to unpredictable demands.
In Kerry there are 272 asylum seekers in the county’s four direct provision centres; there are 39 vacancies. There are 99 asylum seekers in Atlas House Tralee; it’s running at a 90% occupancy rate, with eight vacancies, and another three places unavailable out of the total 110. At Johnston Marina Tralee, 68 of the 90 beds are in use; that’s 76% of places occupied. There are 16 beds unavailable due to illness, and a further six are also deemed unavailable.
Park Lodge Killarney also has a 76% occupancy rate; 42 of the 55 available places are in use. There are 12 vacancies, and another place is unavailable. In Atlas House Killarney, 63 or the 90 beds are in use; that’s 70%. There are 19 vacancies, and another eight beds are unavailable.