Five alleged sexual assaults, seven deaths reported in International Protection accommodation

39 Critical Incidents have taken place at IPAS accommodation with the highest proportion at 14 concerning "self-harm/suicidal incidents"
Five alleged sexual assaults, seven deaths reported in International Protection accommodation

Gordon Deegan

Five alleged sexual assault cases have been reported to authorities across State-funded 'International Protection' accommodation over the past 12 months.

According to new figures on "Critical Incidents" in International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) accommodation since March 2022 provided by the Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman, seven deaths have also taken place in IPAS accommodation from March 2022 to the present.

In correspondence to TD Catherine Murphy on foot of a written Dáil question, Mr O’Gorman reports that a further "three major incidents involving mass fighting" have also been recorded at IPAS accommodation as IPAS Critical Incidents during the same period.

In total since March 2022, Mr O’Gorman reports that 39 Critical Incidents have taken place at IPAS accommodation with the highest proportion at 14 concerning "self-harm/suicidal incidents".

Critical Incident policy

Mr O’Gorman stated that IPAS has a Critical Incident policy in place since November 2019, and he further revealed that since March 2022 there have been a further five Critical Incidents involving weapons, two threats to kill, one incident involving indecent exposure, one serious medical issue and one victim of a serious physical assault.

In his one-page letter response to Ms Murphy, the Minister said: “In the case of any criminal incident An Garda Siochana is the body with the remit for investigation and action as appropriate.”

The 39 Critical Incidents reported to IPAS in the past year comes against the background of unprecedented numbers being accommodated by IPAS.

A spokesman for the Department said on Friday that Ireland is now accommodating over 83,510 people between those fleeing Ukraine and International Protection applicants.

He said: “This includes over 63,210 Ukrainian people who have sought accommodation from the State and over 20,300 International Protection applicants currently in IPAS accommodation.”

The 20,300 IP applicant figure compares to 10,000 at this time last year.


Asked if the Department or IPAS is satisfied with the level of security where Critical Incidents have been reported, the spokesman said: “The level of security is provided for on an appropriate basis and can be increased or reduced depending on requirements.

He said: “All International Protection applicants (IPAs) have a responsibility of good conduct towards each other and staff in centres and are subject to the same laws as any other person in Ireland."

On the seven deaths to have occurred in IPAS accommodation since March 2022, the spokesman said that any death which occurs in an accommodation centre is referred to An Garda Síochána as a matter of course.

He said: “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.”

“ Every person being accommodated in IPAS accommodation must treat other residents in a respectful manner and as they would expect to be treated. This is a normal part of integration to a multicultural society.

He said: “An Garda Siochana work closely with the department in ensuring the safety of staff and residents.”

In a recent Dáil written reply on the accommodation issue, Mr O’Gorman told Brid Smith, the People Before Profit Alliance TD, that “since the outbreak of the current crisis, over 800 accommodation contracts have been put in place with over 44,735 beds in hotels, hostels, commercial self-catering accommodation and certain emergency or repurposed settings, including sports facilities, tented accommodation, and office buildings”.

He said: “All of the limited accommodation capacity within the IPAS system is currently being used. Officials continue to seek accommodation solutions to the increasing numbers of IP arrivals and are in ongoing negotiations with providers to bring on more capacity that will meet basic needs and prevent homelessness.

He said: “Over 100 emergency accommodation locations have been brought into use since January 2022 across 17 counties.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Contact Us Cookie Policy Privacy Policy Terms and Conditions

© Evening Echo Ltd, Linn Dubh, Assumption Road, Blackpool, Cork. Registered in Ireland: 523713

Add to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more