ASYLUM-seekers are being held in jail for up to three months before their deportation, adding to overcrowding in prisons.
The Department of Justice said that, over the past 18 months, nearly 130 people have been imprisoned while arrangements were made for their deportation. The average time spent in custody was 24 days, but some people spent up to 105 days behind bars.
Last year, a total of 162 deportation orders were executed, a slight increase on the previous year, which had been the lowest in a decade.
The department said another 271 non-nationals left the state under what are known as transfer orders under Dublin II regulations. These are people who claimed asylum in Ireland but who were later found to have sought refugee status in another EU state.