Ireland will be short of 8,300 places for refugees by the end of May, the stark report warns


According to a government analysis, there will be no shelter for up to 8,300 Ukrainian refugees by the end of May.

The Cabinet was warned until the last week of this month that “all accommodation types will be at maximum capacity”.

Between 29,000 and 33,000 Ukrainians are said to be looking for accommodation here by the end of next month.

Ministers have been told that 90 percent of sheltered and emergency shelters will be used to house Ukrainian refugees.

They have been told that independent accommodation will be filled as soon as it becomes available as demand exceeds capacity.

So far, the Red Cross has only secured 110 overnight places from public offers.

“There will be a shortage of shelters by the end of April. Up to 8,300 would be left without housing by the end of May as all housing types will be at maximum capacity from the fourth week of April,” the cabinet was told.

More than 1,200 refugees are being housed on cots in community centers and gymnasiums, while nearly 900 offers of free accommodation have been withdrawn.

The cabinet was warned of the serious challenges the state now faces in housing up to 25,000 refugees Ukraine who have arrived here since the beginning of the war.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin described it as “the greatest number of displaced persons that has ever come to Ireland in such a short space of time”. While the number of weekly arrivals fell to 2,418 last week, ministers were told last night the number is expected to rise.

Around 70 refugees were expected to move into Millstreet Arena in Co Cork last night and another facility at Gormanston Camp in Meath was also set up.

Across the country, 1,271 refugees are already being accommodated in makeshift emergency beds in community halls and sports halls.

Ministers were told that 878 offers of vacant properties were withdrawn, while 674 promised properties were passed on to local authorities and a further 100 went to other partners.

Between 150 and 200 people have already been accommodated in promised accommodation.

Of the 24,438 new arrivals from Ukraine since the Russian invasion began in February, 16,128 have applied for housing from the state.

Ireland has frozen more than €1 billion in Russian assets until April 14, ministers have been told.

After meeting Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who stopped at Shannon Airport on his way to Washington DC, Mr Martin said he had been told some Ukrainians were returning to parts of the country from which Russia had withdrawn.

He said the government wants to return shelter promises more quickly and local authorities are reconfiguring some buildings for shelter.

He said Mr Shmyhal had urged Ireland to push for ever-tougher sanctions on Russia and help speed up his country’s membership of the EU. Ireland will be short of 8,300 places for refugees by the end of May, the stark report warns

Fry Electronics Team

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