Asylum seekers should be given cooking facilities
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has said asylum seekers in direct provision centres should be allowed to cook their own meals.
Ms Fitzgerald said the Government was making efforts to improve cooking facilities and to introduce them to centres where they do not exist.
She told The Irish Times: “We should have the highest standard we possibly can, like people having their own cooking facilities.
“There is need for an improvement in relation to that, in terms of generating meals.
“There are cost implications. We need to have more cooking facilities. We are working on all of that.”
Ms Fitzgerald added: “There is a kind of a response to the phrase ‘direct provision’. If we start allowing and making it easy for people to cook and have as much control as they like themselves, then direct provision won’t be there anymore.
“We can actually move away from the concept in the sense that direct provision means you are supplying everything for the person, as aside from a more self-empowered situation for them.”
There were 4,439 people living in 35 direct provision centres across 17 counties at the start of August 2016, of which 1,177 are under 18.