International Protection Accommodation Service centres publication statement 10 July 2024

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) has published six inspection reports on International Protection Accommodation Service centres. 

International Protection Accommodation Service centres, formerly known as direct provision centres, provide accommodation for people seeking international protection in Ireland.

HIQA inspects the quality and safety of these services against the National Standards for accommodation offered to people in the protection process (2019).

Reports have been published on:

  • Atlantic Lodge, Co. Kerry
  • Birchwood House, Co. Waterford
  • Dublin Central Inn, Co. Dublin
  • Eglinton Centre, Co. Galway
  • The Grand Hotel, Co. Wicklow
  • The King Thomond, Co. Clare.

Two of the services that were inspected - Eglinton Centre and Birchwood House - were found to have no non-compliances identified against the standards. The remaining four had varying levels of non-compliance.

Across the inspections conducted, there were examples of good practice found, including: support with integration into local communities; access to educational, health and social supports; facilities for cooking and preparing meals; and in most cases an increased understanding on the part of service providers of their responsibilities as outlined in the national standards. Where residents enjoyed a good quality of life, they were supported to live as independently as possible and the facilities provided were good. Staff members supported residents (adults and children) to access relevant community-based services and leisure activities. There were examples of well-equipped play areas for children and children were supported to prepare for state examinations. 

Non-compliance was identified in areas including; governance, accountability and leadership; safeguarding and protection; contingency planning and emergency preparedness; responsive workforce; identification, assessment and response to special needs; and accommodation. For example, not all of the centres had employed a dedicated reception officer, some had issues in relation to An Garda Síochána (police) vetting of staff and risk was not well managed. One of the centres was located in a premises which included the provision of emergency accommodation which HIQA does not have the legal remit to monitor or inspect. Where non-compliance with the national standards is identified, providers are required to submit compliance plans to demonstrate how they will make improvements and come into compliance with the national standards. 

Read the reports at

Notes to the Editor:

  • On 9 January 2024 HIQA assumed responsibility for monitoring the quality of permanent International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) centres provided by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth as set out under S.I. No. 649/2023 - European Communities (Reception Conditions) (Amendment) Regulations 2023. 
  • HIQA does not have responsibility for monitoring or inspection of emergency accommodation or reception centres for international protection applicants.