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Minister to introduce measures to stem number of IPAs

The Minister for Justice will today introduce further measures to stem the increasing number of people seeking international protection here.

Helen McEntee will tell her Cabinet colleagues that from this morning, international protection applicants from the country that has had the highest number of people coming here over the previous three months, will go into what is called an accelerated process.

Under that process they will have their cases decided upon within 90 days.

At the moment, the country whose citizens will qualify for this faster processing is Nigeria.

Since the beginning of this year more than 2,000 people from Nigeria have sought refuge in this country, accounting for a third of all International Protection Applications this year.

The minister is taking the measure in accordance with the International Protections Act. The top country over the past three months will be assessed every three months.

She is expected to tell the Cabinet that fast processing works, as it gives protection quickly to those who need it, while alerting those who do not to the risks of taking the asylum route.

Minister McEntee believes the 50% reduction in applications from countries designated as ‘safe’ since fast processing was introduced for them is clear evidence that people who are not in need of protection, but who are perhaps coming here for economic reasons, are seeing that risking a refusal and deportation order is not worth it.

At present, accelerated processing is being undertaken in regard to safe countries of origin – the current designated ones being Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Georgia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and South Africa.

The minister has insisted that the rights of applicants are protected and the requirements of the International Protection Act are adhered to.

Over 1,000 student accommodation places to be added

Minister for Higher Education Patrick O’Donovan will bring a memo to cabinet detailing the allocation of €100 million for student accommodation.

Taoiseach Simon Harris has said he is eager to address supply issues for students and remove barriers to education.

The Department of Higher Education will focus on adding 1,014 student accommodation places across three universities, including 493 in UCD, 405 in DCU and 116 in Maynooth University.

A third of all of this accommodation will be for students availing of SUSI grants or from low-income families.

DCU and Maynooth University expect to have builders on site this year, while work in UCD is likely to start early in 2025.

Separately, Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman will bring proposals to Government today to progress the plan to bring childminders into the National Childcare Scheme, while Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will update Cabinet on the Housing For All plan.

He will tell colleagues that 38,408 homes were built in the 12-month period up to the end of March this year.

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