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State paying €460,000 a week after 'unexpected rise' in asylum seekers

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Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan (Brian Lawless/PA)

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan (Brian Lawless/PA)

The State has paid hotels and guesthouses an average of over €460,000 a week to the end of September to house the soaring numbers of asylum seekers in emergency accommodation.

According to new figures provided by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, the spend on emergency accommodation from January to the end of September totals €18m - or an average of €462,046 per week.

Underlining the increasing use of emergency accommodation by the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS), the €18m compares to just a fraction of that at €945,370 for the final quarter of last year.

In a written Dáil reply to Fianna Fáil's justice spokesman Jim O'Callaghan, Mr Flanagan stated there are currently 1,453 applicants residing in 35 emergency accommodation locations.

The Justice Minister stated his department does not disclose the specific location of emergency accommodation centres in order to protect the identity of international protection applicants.

"Due to an unexpected rise in applications - up 53pc in the first nine months of this year - the 38 existing accommodation centres, which offer accommodation, food, utilities and a suite of State services, have reached capacity," said the Justice Minister.

There are 6,094 persons residing in 38 accommodation centres, with a further 1,453 applicants in the 35 emergency accommodation locations in hotels and guesthouses.

Irish Independent