Direct provision unlikely to end by 2024, admits Minister Roderic O’Gorman

The Minister cited an increase of Ukrainian refugees as one of the reasons for the delay.

Minister Roderic O'Gorman speaking about direct provision.
Image: Via YouTube @GreenPartyIreland

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman TD has said that direct provision for migrants in Ireland is unlikely to come to an end by 2024, as it had previously been pledged.

Mr O’Gorman cites the Ukrainian war as the main obstacle to ending the 22 year-old widely-criticised system.

“The fact that we have to accommodate 45,000 Ukrainian refugees and the huge increase in the numbers of people seeking protection in Ireland does have implications for that plan and the 2024 deadline,” Mr O’Gorman told the Irish Independent. He added that the Ukrainian war increased Ireland’s population by almost one per cent since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

For context, this time last year there were 7,500 people seeking refuge in Ireland, according to Mr O’Gorman. As well as the 45,000 Ukrainian refugees mentioned above, “a doubling of numbers of people of other nationalities seeking protection in Ireland has prompted a serious re-think”, John Downing writes for

The considerable rise in refugees coming to Ireland means that authorities may have to rely on places like community halls to serve as “rest centres” for interim accommodation.

“It’s basic and I’ve always been clear about this – that basic is what we are offering,” Mr O’Gorman stated to Newstalk yesterday. “The scale of this is huge, it’s a humanitarian crisis which Ireland has never had to face, and our offerings to ­Ukrainians are far from ideal.”

The ending of direct provision by 2024 was one of the key demands by the Green Party during the coalition negotiations in 2020, and the delay in its removal has come as a serious blow to those affected. Widely considered a burden to those seeking refuge in Ireland, rejecting direct provision means that an individual forfeits the right to further help from the State, leaving them with very little choice in the matter.

Although the chances of ending direct provision by 2024 have shrunk considerably, Mr O’Gorman is positive about other initiatives which can still be advanced to benefit the lives of migrants in Ireland. These include general societal integration efforts and a review of the initial initiative.

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