214. Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the capacity of a centre (details supplied); if it is at full capacity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12190/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The facility at St. Margaret's Road, Balseskin, County Dublin is a reception centre contracted by my Department to provide initial reception services to persons entering the state and seeking international protection.
During their stay in Balseskin, protection applicants are offered health screening and are processed for PPS numbers and medical cards. The purpose of Balseskin is to provide a short orientation period before residents are accommodated in centres around the country.
The current contracted capacity at Balseskin is 350 persons and the current occupancy is 289 persons.
Balseskin plays a pivotal role in the process as it allows the delivery of necessary supports and services to persons newly arrived in the state. The issuing of PPS numbers and medical cards allows persons seeking international protection to access direct provision allowances and medical supports once accommodated in a centre.