Speaking following the launch of the report, Senator Conway expressed his concern about the intolerable conditions and the unacceptable length of time many asylum seekers must spend in the direct provision system awaiting a decision on their case.
“Whilst I am not a member of this committee, I have previously called on the Government to act and consider an amnesty for asylum seekers that have been in the system for longer than seven years.
“The direct provision system was only ever meant to be an ad hoc emergency response to the situation in Ireland at that time. It should never have been permitted to last into this its 15th year.
“The report launched by the Public Service Oversight Committee today makes vital recommendations to enhance State oversight of the direct provision system.
“In particular, the report calls for the extension of the remit of the Ombudsman to cover all aspects and bodies associated with the direct provision system (DPS) and the extension of the remit of Freedom of Information to cover all aspects and bodies associated with the DPS including all the suppliers of goods and services, whether from the private or public sectors.
“I believe that enhanced State oversight of direct provision represents a strong start on much need reform of the system however I consider the Government needs to go a step further by permitting an amnesty for those in the system for longer than seven years,” added Senator Conway.