Fears High Court ruling will open floodgates to homeless asylum seekers getting large compensation payouts that may “filter around the world”.

On Friday 21 April 2023 Mr Justice Charles Meenan ruled that the state’s failure to provide basic accommodation and food for a young single male Afghan asylum seeker was unlawful.

He ruled that the Minister was in breach of his obligations under the European Union (Reception Conditions) Regulations of 2018 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

He also declared that the failure to provide the reception conditions breached the applicant’s rights under Article 1 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.

Judge Meenan said the Minister’s difficulties in securing accommodation does not absolve him of his duties under the 2018 Regulations.

The male, who was represented by Colm O’Dwyer SC, instructed by the Irish Refugee Council Independent Law Centre said his father was killed by the Taliban last autumn, that he was left homeless upon arrival in Ireland on February 7 until he received accommodation on February 28.

He said he was given a €28 Dunnes Stores voucher and had no food and had to resort to begging. He claimed he slept in different locations around Dublin’s city centre, felt constantly scared and feared attack.

Currently, there are several hundred refugees who have not been provided with state accommodation and it is thought that many of these are homeless and will be in line for compensation.

A government source quoted on the front page of today’s Irish Examiner said: “There is concern over the level of financial compensation that could be paid out and what that means for the rest of the people the State hasn’t been able to provide shelter for, given there are significant numbers involved.” 

If large lump sums of money are given to IP applicants as a result of the State not being in a position to offer accommodation, there is unease over how the court ruling may “filter around the world”.

The case is due back before the High Court on May 12 when costs and any further submissions from parties will be dealt with.