Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman has said he is “aware” of the recent passing of a resident at a direct provision centre in Cork and that a report is being undertaken into the incident.
The Minister was speaking on RTÉ’stoday following reports of the death of a woman at the Ashbourne House centre in Glounthaune.
Asked about the reports, Mr O’Gorman said:
"We haven't gotten details in terms of the conclusion of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.
"We don't comment on individual cases in terms of when someone in a direct provision centre passes away."
Mr O’Gorman reiterated his ambition to end the system of direct provision and said that a report is being undertaken in relation to the death at the Cork centre, as is standard procedure.
“I’ll see that report when it’s concluded,” he added.
A statement tofrom the Minister’s department said the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) “is aware that a death has taken place in an IPAS accommodation centre”.
“The IPAS Critical Incident Policy ensures that any death that occurs within accommodation centres provided by the Department is referred to An Garda Síochána as a matter of course.
“An Garda Síochána then in turn refer all deaths to the local Coroner’s office.
“Residents and centre staff are provided with the necessary supports during this difficult time.
“The Department does not comment on individual cases.”
The statement also said that IPAS has developed a new policy on the recording and reporting of the deaths of residents which sets out the procedures to be followed by its staff and by centre managers when notified of the death of a person who is resident in IPAS accommodation.
“This is in parallel with the IPAS critical incident policy. The policy has been in operation since June 2021.
“This policy is intended to balance the need for openness and transparency in all State organisations in the provision of information to the public, with the expectation of privacy and consideration of the sensitive nature surrounding the death of any individual for their family and friends.
“In the case of International Protection applicants, regard must also be had for the legal obligation to protect the anonymity of International Protection applicants during the protection process,” it continued.
A Garda spokesperson toldthat Gardaí attended “a premises” in Glounthaune at 8pm on Friday evening where the body of a woman aged in her fifties was discovered.
“The Coroner was notified and her body was removed to the mortuary at CUH for post-mortem.
“There was no reports of any foul play.
“A file will be prepared in accordance with the Coroners Act,” the spokesperson continued.