Over €175m spent on direct provision centres last year

The state spent over €175 million on direct provision centres last year.

According to freedom of information documents, it's an increase of nearly 36% on 2019.

5,275 asylum-seekers and refugees are living in direct provision centres at the moment.

A contract for a Direct Provision Centre in Letterkenny was signed last year with the first of the residents arriving at the centre in March this year.

There are a total of 46 different facilities throughout the country - with 673 people living in a centre in Mosney, Co Meath.

The next biggest is in Athlone, Co Westmeath, which has 246 residents.

The Department of Integration says the total cost of direct-provision accommodation last year over €175 million.

That compares to €129 million in 2019 and €78 million the previous year.