The National Indoor Arena in Abbotstown has welcomed 100 asylum seekers through its doors.
The Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth (DCEDIY) has confirmed that the transitional shelter was officially opened last night.
Last week, Sports Ireland announced the National Indoor Athletics Training Center would be made available for a period of up to “six weeks as part of an emergency initiative”.
Chief Executive Officer Dr. Una May said Sport Ireland was “delighted to be able to respond positively to the Government’s request”.
“This emergency initiative will be in place for a period of up to six weeks to allow the relevant authorities to provide more permanent shelters to the refugees. After that, the arena will be available for the start of the indoor track and field season,” she said.
“Sport has been a welcome lifeline for many refugees arriving in Ireland in recent months and the broader sport sector is to be commended in that regard.
“Sport Ireland Facilities is offering refugees the use of the facilities at the Sport Ireland campus for the duration of their stay.”
The DCEDIY has confirmed that the center can accommodate a total of 200 people.
In a statement released to Independent.ie, the department said: “DCEDIY has hired a facility management company as well as a security service and the facility has Wi-Fi. Meals, linens and toiletries are provided. Applicants can be accommodated there for up to six weeks before being transferred to more suitable accommodation once this becomes available under the current shortages.”
It comes as earlier this week the Irish Refugee Council warned that asylum seekers were facing “homelessness on the streets” after 19 applicants for international protection turned up at its Dublin office and said they had been told they had “no accommodation is available”.
The people are believed to have come from countries such as Georgia, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan and at least one of them has a significant health problem.
DCEDIY also confirmed that up to 130 refugees were left homeless for several nights as government shelters for asylum seekers reached capacity last week.
Since February, nearly 37,500 people fleeing the crisis in Ukraine have applied to the state for housing, along with 15,000 applicants for international protection (IP).
As a result, the department is currently assisting over 51,000 people, compared to 7,500 at this time last year.
https://www.independent.ie/news/national-indoor-arena-opens-doors-to-100-refugees-after-scores-faced-with-sleeping-rough-41974952.html National indoor arena opens doors for 100 refugees after dozens faced sleeping problems