The IPA specifically prohibits detention of unaccompanied children. There is no available information on whether other vulnerable applicants have been detained in practice, however detention is rarely used in practice in Ireland. If a dependent child is with his or her parent and that parent is detained under Section 20 IPA, the immigration officer or member of the Garda Síochána concerned shall, without delay, notify Tusla of the detention and of the circumstances thereof.
Regulation 19(9) of the Reception Conditions Regulations sets out standards for the detention of vulnerable persons: “Where a detained applicant is a vulnerable person, the Minister shall ensure, taking into account the person’s particular situation, including his or her health, that—
(a) the person is monitored regularly, and
(b) he or she is provided with adequate support.”
There is no known case of this provision having been applied to date.