In a few weeks, the country’s population will increase by 1 percent when 40,000 Ukrainian refugees are expected to arrive, Tánaiste said Leo Varadkar.
Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman suggested that up to 68,000 refugees could soon seek shelter in Ireland.
Agriculture Secretary Charlie McConalogue went even further, saying as many as 200,000 Ukrainians could eventually arrive here.
If Mr McConalogue is right, that would mean that one in 25 people living in Ireland would be Ukrainian.
For context, the latest national census recorded 122,000 Poles as the largest group of non-nationals residing in Ireland in 2016.
Around 10,000 Ukrainians have arrived so far. The majority (88 percent) of these are women and children.
Men under the age of 60 have been told they must not leave Ukraine and must help with the war effort against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
As an EU member state, Ireland has committed to providing housing and financial support to all Ukrainian refugees.
Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said he would not let financial constraints cloud his judgment in allocating government funds to the refugee crisis.
Similarly, Social Protection Secretary Heather Humphreys said her department will not be neglected when it comes to providing welfare services to war refugees.
When asked how many refugees Ireland can actually take, Mr O’Gorman replied: “I think Ireland will do what Ireland has to do in terms of total numbers.
“I think that’s the point of government. That is also the spirit of the Irish people. We have seen that Poland is currently hosting 1.8 million refugees and they are finding the space as they go.”
Not what you would call a “clear” plan.
But, in fairness, there is no instruction manual for dealing with the aftermath of a war brought on by an aging megalomaniac dictator.
There are history lessons that show us why there has been no military response from the West so far.
But there were also many other refugee crises
This is the first time Ireland has decided to open its doors to tens of thousands of refugees.
Only around 3,000 Syrian refugees have been housed here since war broke out in their country more than 10 years ago, while just over 500 Afghans have found refuge since the US left last year, media reports said in December.
Ireland is required by an EU agreement to take in 2 percent of all refugees fleeing Ukraine, and that’s why the number could potentially be so high
People currently living in direct care will continue to live there while the government pulls out all the stops to accommodate Ukrainian refugees.
There has been much talk of a key cabinet memo on the migrant crisis in Ukraine, but it basically boiled down to the government examining whether old buildings could be converted into livable housing and talking to builders about refurbishing them.
It is worth remembering that the government has agreed to take in a significant number of refugees, unaware of how generous the Irish public would be in opening their doors to people who are forced from their homes became. And they were very generous. If they weren’t, who knows what the government would do.
You may find other cabinet ministers offering their homes, but the government will need more of a strategy than relying on public generosity.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/we-need-a-better-plan-for-ukraine-refugee-crisis-than-relying-on-public-generosity-41477208.html We need a better plan for Ukraine’s refugee crisis than relying on public generosity