Direct Provision centre on Limerick outskirts to apologise after sick boy ‘denied bread’

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

The contractor in charge of Knockalisheen Accommodation Centre, near Moyross, is Aramark, the Department of Justice said

The contractor in charge of Knockalisheen Accommodation Centre, near Moyross, is Aramark, the Department of Justice said

THE CONTRACTOR in charge of a Direct Provision centre on the outskirts of Limerick is to apologise to a resident who claimed that her sick child was “denied bread” in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The Department of Justice launched an investigation into the matter after the mother, who has been a resident in Direct Provision at Knockalisheen Centre for a number years, claimed that her child was denied a slice of bread despite suffering a headache, diarrhoea and vomiting.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said that the contractor has “has acknowledged responsibility for this regrettable and isolated incident. The contractor will meet with the resident to apologise to her personally”.

The contractor in charge of Knockalisheen Accommodation Centre, near Moyross, is Aramark, the Department of Justice said.

Staff will also be retrained in order ensure that communications between staff are “clear and unambiguous”.

The Reception and Integration Agency (Ria) contacted the centre when it was made aware of the matter, and asked it to investigate the claims on Wednesday afternoon.

“The contractor has since reverted to us to advise that this unfortunate, but isolated incident was a miscommunication between staff,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that, unfortunately, a new staff member “misunderstood a request” and informed the night porter “that no food was to be provided which led to the regrettable incident”.

The contractor will also ensure that tea/coffee and snacks are available on a 24/7 basis as per the contract.

“Ministers in the Department of Justice and Equality have actively engaged in reform over the past number of years, constantly striving to improve the international protection process.  

“The Department places paramount importance of the welfare of those residing in our accommodation centres,” the Department of Justice stated.

The Report of the Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and supports to Asylum Seeker, also known as the Justice McMahon report, was published in June 2015.  

The Report contains 173 recommendations many of which have implications for a number of Government Departments and services.  

The Department of Justice & Equality has since published three progress reports on the implementation of the Report's 173 recommendations, the first in June 2016, the second in February 2017 and a third and final report in July 2017. The final progress report shows that 133 of the recommendations have been reported as fully implemented and a further 36 are in progress or partially implemented. This represents a 98% full or partial implementation.

“Any alleged violations of any nature should be reported to RIA or the Minister or the Ombudsman or the Ombudsman for children,” the department said.