A report of a working group on Ireland's asylum and protection process has been published today.

It is the first report of its kind since Direct Provision was introduced 15 years ago.

Among the recommendations is a proposal to fast-track the granting of residency to those in the system for five years or more.

Over 3,600 asylum seekers live in Direct Provision centres and almost 1,500 have been in the system for five years or more.

The Government has promised to speed up the determination process, by legislating for a single application procedure, and last October a working group was established to recommend improvements.

It is issuing a number of recommendations around the principal that no person should be in the system for five years or more.

Except for certain circumstances, it recommends those waiting for a decision on refugee status, subsidiary protection or leave to remain in the State, who have been in the system for five years or more, should be granted it within six months.

Similarly those against whom there is a deportation order who have been in the system for five years or more should have the order revoked.

Under the new single procedure, final decisions should be issued within 12 months.

Another recommendation is that once the new procedure is operating efficiently new applicants, who do not get a decision within nine months, would be permitted to work. This will not apply to those already in the system.

It recommends increasing the direct provision allowance from €19.10 per adult per week and €9.60 per child per week to €38.74 and €29.80 respectively.

It also recommends improvements to living conditions such as access to cooking facilities and private living space for families by the end of 2016, in so far as practicable.

At the publication of the report, the Minister for Justice said that legislating for a single streamlined applications procedure was a Government priority.

Frances Fitzgerald also said it was her firm intention to bring forward a series of reforms aimed at improving conditions, specifically for children and families in Direct Provision.

She said that the report offered "much food for thought" and would have the full attention of Government.

Ms Fitzgerald said that "the intention was to examine the immediate and short term recommendations" that could be dealt with, but some were more "middle to longer term" recommendations.

The minister said many of the issues required a "whole Government" response, and she would be consulting with the relevant departments on the more than 170 recommendations.

Welcoming the publication of the report, Minister of State for New Communities, Culture, Equality, and Drugs Strategy, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said he felt today was another "yes equality moment", particularly for those living in Direct Provision.

Mr Ó Ríordáin said there was a "historic opportunity and a moral obligation" to move to implement the report's recommendations.

The Chair of the Working Group, Dr Bryan McMahon, also called for the report's recommendations to be swiftly and fully implemented.

This was echoed by many of the human rights groups that contributed to the Working Group, and by two asylum seekers who are currently living in the Direct Provision System.

Simmy Ndlovu said that the working group had done its job and it was up to the minister now.

Siphathisiwe Moyo said she had seen the unfairness of the Direct Provision system over a very long time, and called for the report's recommendations to be implemented fairly, taking into account those longest in the system first.

The Irish Refugee Council has welcomed the recommendations to reform the refugee and subsidiary protection application process and proposals to make decisions on outstanding applications for people who have been in the system for five years or more.

However CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, Sue Conlon, raised concerns for those who are not yet in the system for five years, who will not benefit from proposals for new applicants, such as a right to work after nine months.

Ms Conlon said the Working Group's approach "effectively endorsed the practice of people being allowed to remain in the system for up to five years" and she said it left in place the system of Direct Provision which has been nationally and internationally condemned.

Ms Conlon resigned from the Working Group process in March, citing concerns over the publication of the Head of International Protection Bill in the absence of any consultation with the Working Group.