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Reply To: PRISON LAW

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Rinku Das (Hazra)
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Immigration detention

In general, asylum seekers and irregular immigrants who may be detained under Irish law include:

Non-nationals who arrive in Ireland and are refused leave to land

International protection applicants who are deemed to be in one of the categories set out in Section 20(1) International Protection Act

International protection applicants being transferred to another EU Member State under the Dublin Regulation who are at risk of absconding
Non-nationals with outstanding deportation orders; and
Non-nationals awaiting trial for a criminal immigration-related offence
Section 20(1) of the International Protection Act 2015 provides that international protection applicants may be detained by an immigration officer or a member of Garda Síochána and arrested without warrant if it is suspected that they:

-Pose a threat to public security or public order in Ireland
-Have committed a serious non-political crime outside Ireland
-Have not made reasonable efforts to establish their identity (including non-compliance with the requirement to provide fingerprints)
-Intend to leave Ireland without lawful authority enter another state
-Have acted or plan to act in a manner that would undermine the system for granting persons international protection in Ireland or any arrangement relating to the Common Travel Area
-Have, without reasonable excuse, destroyed identity or travel documents or is in possession of fake identity documents

There are currently no specialised detention centres for asylum seekers or irregular migrants in Ireland. If detained under section 20(1) of the International Protection Act 2015, you can be detained at a Garda station or Cloverhill Prison. If detained at Cloverhill Prison, you should be separated from the general prison population. Persons under 18 years of age cannot be detained.

There is no maximum duration for the detention of protection applicants set out in the International Protection Act. Section 20(12) indicates that a District Court judge can, provided the relevant criteria are met, apply for detention for consecutive 21-day time periods with no upper limit.

The Irish Refugee Council has published detailed guidance and information on immigration detention procedures in Ireland. You can also read more about refugee status and leave to remain, the asylum process in Ireland and the services available to asylum seekers in Ireland.