Currently, there are approximately 7,000 asylum-seekers at various stages of the application process in the system. Almost 5,000 are at first instance and appeal stage.
Fine Gael’s Denis Naughton said, despite improvements to the system, there was still a "significant backlog" and applications were taking a long time. He said a substantial part of the delay in processing asylum applications results from delays in processing leave to remain applications.
"While I accept they are complex, based on the current rate of processing, it would take approximately five years to clear the existing backlog of such applications. Is the minister of the view that this is unacceptable, particularly in light of the fact that €800 per week is spent on the court, accommodation, processing and deportation costs of each asylum applicant?"