The Irish Refugee Council (IRC) has warned that newly arrived refugees are being left homeless on the streets because of a lack of emergency shelters across the country.
The Ministry for Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth has confirmed that 130 asylum seekers have been told there is no place to stay since last Thursday, RTÉ reported.
Some 19 refugees presented themselves at the IRC Dublin office today and said they had been told “there is no accommodation available for them”.
IRC said it had contacted the state-run International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS), which is responsible for housing asylum seekers in Ireland, and it confirmed it could not take the refugees, but the service said spaces would be available tomorrow could become .
IRC said it also contacted Dublin City Council but the local authority referred them to IPAS.
Refugee Council CEO Nick Henderson said the organization had tried to accommodate the 19 people through its homeless emergency fund, but this was not possible because the hostels it uses require ID to be presented.
He said the asylum seekers were from different countries, including Georgia, Afghanistan, Congo and Zimbabwe, and were between 25 and 45 years old.
“We were able to give them financial support so that they have access to a hot meal tonight. We suggested that they could go to the Garda stations and see if they could be given assistance. The Dublin Simon Community sometimes picks people up from Garda stations to try and get shelter where possible, but in reality they will be homeless. They will be homeless tonight,” he told RTÉ driving time Program.
“They were very tired and took advantage of our reception to rest and take shelter from the rain… They were in reasonable spirits and thanked us for our support. They recognized the situation they were in and obviously there was a lot of concern as to whether this would be resolved any time soon. The broader issue is of great concern that Ireland is not able to meet its legal obligations to support people seeking refuge in our country.”
Mr Henderson said while Secretary Roderic O’Gorman, whose department is now home to more than 50,000 people, is aware of the problems faced by asylum seekers, “the penny that we really think has yet to drop” with other parts of government that the situation requires “considerable attention”.
He added: “We cannot go from one crisis to the next. A lot of things have been done very well for people who fled Ukraine and we gave the government a lot of praise for that, but at the same time there are very deep-rooted issues why we support people who come from other countries and that needs attention. There are clear legal and ethical requirements and responsibilities that we must ensure we meet.”
Last week, Sport Ireland announced that the National Indoor Arena would be used for a period of up to six weeks in support of the ongoing refugee housing crisis.
It is understood that the center will start receiving asylum seekers in the coming days.
Independent.ie contacted the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth for comment.
https://www.independent.ie/news/warning-refugees-are-facing-street-homelessness-as-130-awaiting-accommodation-41967295.html Warning Refugees face ‘homelessness on the streets’ as 130 wait for shelter