Asylum-seekers waiting up to seven years for decision

A study of Ireland's asylum seekers process has found applicants can be waiting up to seven years for a decision on their application.

AN ESRI report published today has also found that the accommodation is often unsuitable, with people living in overcrowded facilities.

More than 4,800 asylum applicants were being accommodated in 35 reception facilities at the end of 2012, down from just over 5,400 residents accommodated in 39 centres in 2011.

Some 59% of asylum seekers were living in the temporary accommodation for more than three years, 31% for more than five years, and 9% for more than seven years.

Emma Quinn of the European Migration Network said children in particular were suffering.

"The system is having a negative impact on children. (Some) 38% of residents were aged 18 and under, and 18% were aged five and under."

The report found insufficient homework and play areas for children.

Ms Quinn went on to say: "There are serious problems in how long it takes to process a protection application in Ireland at the moment. A lot of EU member states would have what's known as a single protection procedure which would be much faster than the current Irish system."

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