Disused army barracks could be used to house Ukrainian refugees

Disused Army Barracks Could Be Used To House Ukrainian Refugees Disused Army Barracks Could Be Used To House Ukrainian Refugees
Some refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine have been forced to sleep on the floor at Dublin Airport. Photo: Peter Lazar/AFP via Getty
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By Cate McCurry, PA

Disused army barracks and modular homes are among the measures being considered by the Government to help plug the accommodation crisis for refugees.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said that old army sites could be quickly converted to house Ukrainians as the State struggles with the rising number of people seeking refuge.

Ms Humphreys defended the Government’s handling of the crisis, saying it is doing everything it can.

Some refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine have been forced to sleep on the floor at Dublin Airport as State accommodation reaches capacity.

A bus leaving the Citywest hotel and conference centre which is being used to house Ukrainian refugees. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

The Government is scrambling to find rooms and accommodation to help address the shortage of houses.

Ms Humphreys said that Ireland has welcomed refugees with its “arms open”.

“We have supported a lot of Ukrainians coming into this country and when you put it into perspective, we have almost 55,000 Ukrainians here and that is the total population of County Monaghan,” the Fine Gael minister added.


“So we have done a lot. I want to acknowledge the work that people have done in terms of taking them into their houses, and indeed the work that Minister [Roderic] O’Gorman’s department has done in identifying accommodation for them and yes, we are under pressure at the minute but we’re working through a number.

“We did have a Cabinet meeting on Monday and there’s a number of proposals being brought forward, such as increasing the amount of support that we give to families who take Ukrainians into their homes.

“We’re looking at identifying other possible opportunities in terms of maybe old disused army barracks that could be quickly converted, we’re looking at modular homes, so we’re doing everything we can.

“I think it’s important to say that this is something that it shouldn’t be an us and them.”

She said that Irish people have gone abroad to seek refuge, employment and a new life.

“In this country we have held our arms open, we have brought people in here and we need to support them and we should never forget where they’re coming from,” she added.


“The horrific circumstances that they find themselves in, and they have lost loved ones. Many of them are women and children that are here, they don’t know where their husbands are. They’re fighting in the war effort and I think we need to be conscious of that.

“There are pressures, certainly, we are doing everything we can as a government to try and alleviate those – those areas where there is pressure.”

The Government also has plans to encourage more people to host families or individuals fleeing Ukraine.

Hundreds of people offered up rooms in their home at the outbreak of the war but many have not been used because of delays in garda vetting.

“We will try and work our way through doing all that we can to ensure that we can get accommodation as quickly as possible for people who come here,” Ms Humphreys added.

Disused military facilities should be used to hous...
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The Minister repeated comments made by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar that the State cannot guarantee accommodation to those arriving in Ireland after senior Government ministers met on Monday night to discuss the accommodation crisis.

Proposals included increasing the monthly payment for people taking in Ukrainian refugees to €800.

Measures are set to be agreed at an incorporeal meeting later this week or at the Cabinet meeting next week.

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