Government to start moving Ukrainian refugees in with Irish families

ireland
Government To Start Moving Ukrainian Refugees In With Irish Families Government To Start Moving Ukrainian Refugees In With Irish Families
Roderic O’Gorman, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Cate McCurry, PA

The Government is to start the process of moving Ukrainian refugees in with Irish families, Roderic O’Gorman said.

The Minister for Children said that vacant properties will be used first to house Ukrainians fleeing the war.

Around 20,000 offers of accommodation have been pledged by Irish people, including from Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

Mr O’Gorman said that 9,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Ireland, and the vast majority are staying in hotels.

Flowers and messages of support left outside Ukraine’s embassy in Dublin (Brian Lawless/PA)

He also said that EU countries are expected to receive tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees in the weeks ahead.

“It’s certainly those numbers that we’re preparing for,” he added.

“We’re continuing to look to book hotel accommodation to deal with short-term accommodation needs and as of this weekend, we’ve begun to draw down accommodation from the pledges provided by the Irish people.

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“Over 20,000 offers have come in from Irish people across the country, a huge show of generosity, and my department are looking to start to activate some of those accommodation options now, starting initially with options of vacant housing.”

Mr O’Gorman said the Government is looking to block-book hotels.

 

“I think that’s necessary to ensure that we have rooms for people when they arrive in the country, and we’ve been doing that over the last two weeks,” he added.

“I think we have to be ready in case there’s a sudden surge of people arriving at our ports and airports and in a crisis situation like this.”

Mr Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett are among those who registered through the Irish Refugee Council.

Mr Varadkar said he has a spare room in his house.

“From our point of view, watching the news every night of Ukraine, it’s very hard to watch what we’re witnessing on our continent, in our neighbourhood and wanted to help out in some way,” he said.

“Opening your home for a few months to somebody fleeing war, it’s just something we’re able to do at the moment. I’m happy to do.”

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He also said there has been some discussion in providing funding to those who open their homes to refugees, but is “not something we are going to do”.

“What we’re really saying to people is that this is an altruistic thing, not something we would intend to pay people to do,” he added.

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