The number of people seeking international protection in Ireland fell by 67% last year compared to 2019, according to the Irish Refugee Council.

In its latest review of the process, the IRC said the pandemic severely affected people applying for protection in different ways.

Despite the decrease in people seeking protection, postponement of interviews resulted in increased waiting times, delays and backlogs.

The annual review of the international protection process is Ireland's contribution to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles' Asylum Information Database

The database contains information on protection procedures, reception conditions, detention and content of international protection across 23 countries.

The IRC also found a reduction in the number of people living in Direct Provision last year.

There were 670 cases of Covid-19 in Direct Provision between March 2020 and February this year.

It also notes that 195 Syrian families resettled to Ireland last year.