Alternatives to detention

Republic of Ireland

Country Report: Alternatives to detention Last updated: 25/05/23


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There are no formal alternatives to detention. Section 20(3)(b) IPA could be considered a possible alternative in that it allows an immigration officer or other authorised person to require an applicant for asylum to reside or remain in particular districts or places in the country, or, to report at specified times to an immigration officer or other designated person. However, as of February 2022, there are no known cases of this being applied in practice.

However, the District Court judge when reviewing the applicability of detention may commit the person concerned to a place of detention for a period not exceeding 21 days from the time of his or her detention or release the person and make such a release subject to conditions, including conditions requiring him or her to (i) reside or remain in a specified district or place in the State; (ii) report at specified intervals to a specified Garda Síochána station or surrender any passport or other travel document that he or she holds. The District Court judge may vary, revoke or add a condition to the release on the application of the person, an immigration officer or a member of the Garda Síochána.[1]

A member of the Garda Síochána may arrest without warrant and detain, in a place of detention, a person who in their opinion has failed to comply with the Court’s reporting conditions under Section 20(9) IPA. In such a case the applicant shall be brought before the District Court again and if the judge feels grounds for detention apply under subsection (9) or (3) above then they may commit the applicant for further periods (each period being a period not exceeding 21 days) pending the determination of the person’s application for international protection under Section 20(12) IPA. In effect, this means that an applicant can be detained for consecutive 21-day periods of detention, which means the detention may be continuous and indefinite. There is no limit to the number of 21-day periods of detention, which can run consecutively.




[1]  Section 20(5) IPA.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation