The Ombudsman Peter Tyndall has published a commentary on his office's experience of dealing with complaints from refugees and asylum seekers living in direct provision centres.

The Ombudsman's Office began accepting complaints from people in Direct Provision last April. Since then, it has received 97 formal complaints from residents.

Mr Tyndall said some complaints arose as a result of cultural differences.

He said: "We have found that the most effective way to deal with complaints is to meet with residents and centre managers to discuss the issues being raised.

"This has resulted in many complaints being resolved on the spot."

A number of complaints were about transfers between centres, while others were about the quality and preparation of food.

There were also complaints about the standard of accommodation at the centres.

Many residents said they were reluctant to complain about issues at their centres for fear of being singled out as troublemakers or persecuted in some other way for having complained.

Residents also complained about the refusal of travel expenses to attend medical or solicitor's appointments, the attitudes of some centre staff and communication regarding deportation orders.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr Tyndall said direct provision accommodation is fine for those staying for a couple of weeks, as it was originally intended, but is not suitable for long-term stays.

He said that it was clear many residents were skilled but they had a very restricted right to work.

This matter, he said, was one he would be monitoring closely.

"At the moment there's a very, very restricted right to work that's only just being introduced, but we'll be keeping a close eye on it.

"To be honest for people, their dignity and their self respect and also for the fact that they want to be busy, they don't want to be whiling the hours away, they want to get out and use their skills to the benefit of the Irish economy."