Government will not cap the number of Ukrainian refugees coming to Ireland

ireland
Government Will Not Cap The Number Of Ukrainian Refugees Coming To Ireland Government Will Not Cap The Number Of Ukrainian Refugees Coming To Ireland
Of the 13,548 refugees who had arrived up to last Saturday 7,000 had sought accommodation, the remainder had gone to stay with family or friends. Photo: Getty Images
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Vivienne Clarke

The Government will not put a cap on the number of refugees from Ukraine who want to come to Ireland, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has said.

The numbers coming to Ireland are small compared to other countries, particularly those neighbouring Ukraine, she told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.

The Government was “exploring all options”, she added, in response to reports that tents were being considered, however, tents would be a last resort.

The primary concern and objective for all refugees arriving into the country was that they were safe.

Of the 13,548 refugees who had arrived up to last Saturday 7,000 had sought accommodation, the remainder had gone to stay with family or friends, said the Ms McEntee.

State owned lands were being examined for the potential to provide accommodation, religious orders had also offered buildings and grounds. Every avenue would be explored, she said.

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The Red Cross and the Department of Children were considering all offers for accommodation to ensure there was no potential risk to refugees. The State had a duty of care to both those arriving and to the families who had volunteered to host them.

Ms McEntee said that the Red Cross was working its way through the list of people who had volunteered to host refugees, but there was a process and this was taking time.

Ms McEntee denied that Ukrainian refugees were being treated differently to refugees from Syria or Afghanistan. Ireland had offered to take people from both those countries, but more had opted to remain in countries closer to home in the hope of returning there.

There was an onus on Ireland to help the people of Ukraine.

“Ireland will never be found wanting,” she said.

When asked about the danger of human trafficking with so many refugees arriving, Ms McEntee said there were always significant risks, but there were new mechanisms on how victims could seek help, it was not just through the gardaí, there were other avenues such as immigration services, Tusla and community groups. People would be clear there were other supports.

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