The empty Dublin 4 hospital could be used as a residential center for Ukrainian refugees

The vacant Royal City of Dublin hospital building on Upper Baggot Street in Dublin is being considered as a potential accommodation hub for Ukrainian refugees following a campaign by local businesses and residents.

The group has called on the HSE to convert the landmark building into a residential center for families fleeing the war in Ukraine.

The HSE has now forwarded the name of the hospital to the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS), which is responsible for accommodating people seeking protection here, for consideration.

Labor Councilor Dermot Lacey said the HSE confirmed the development at a Regional Health Forum meeting in Dublin last week.

Mr Lacey had previously said it was “quite disgraceful” that the hospital had long stood empty and urged the HSE to make it available to Ukrainian refugees.

The Royal City of Dublin Hospital is a 5,600m² historic listed building and occupies a prominent position on Dublin’s Baggot Street.

The HSE has used part of the building for community health services, but the main building is derelict and unoccupied.

One company, PJ McGrath Group, has offered to provide free builders to convert the property to accommodate Ukrainian families.

Company co-founder Mary McGrath said the building’s conversion will be complex because the building does not currently have planning permission for residential use and is also a listed building.

Business owners such as Mick Quinn, owner of the Lansdowne Hotel and Waterloo Pub, are also supporting the project.

The development comes as the government faces growing challenges in accommodating all those arriving in Ireland from Ukraine.

Justice Secretary Helen McEntee acknowledged the challenges last week but indicated the government will not limit the number of people the country will take in.

Around 25,000 refugees have arrived since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

However, the Irish Red Cross, which is coordinating the pledges of accommodation, released new figures showing half of the offers have not materialised.

Of just over 24,000 offers received, more than 3,000 were withdrawn and 9,184 property owners could not be contacted.

The government is now considering paying households hosting Ukrainian refugees a monthly fee of €400 and possibly encouraging people to open their homes to refugees.

The first mass accommodation on Mill Street in Cork opened last week and is home to 70 refugees. Other emergency call centers are to follow.

The HSE referred inquiries about the Royal City of Dublin Hospital to the Department of Children, Integration and Youth.

The department said: “In order to meet the challenge of finding sufficient and suitable accommodation for Ukrainian families arriving here, the Government is identifying state-owned or community properties that may be suitable for accommodation alongside hotels, tourist accommodation and Irish Red Cross accommodation pledges.

“There is an ongoing commitment across sectors to identify potential properties that could be exploited.” The empty Dublin 4 hospital could be used as a residential center for Ukrainian refugees

Fry Electronics Team

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