Ireland welcomes 15,000 Ukraine refugees with accommodation expected to run out

ireland
Ireland Welcomes 15,000 Ukraine Refugees With Accommodation Expected To Run Out Ireland Welcomes 15,000 Ukraine Refugees With Accommodation Expected To Run Out
A Ukrainian child walks past tents that have been set up for Ukrainian refugees inside a train station in Bucharest, Romania. Photo: AFP via Getty Images
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Over 15,000 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Ireland since the start of the war, with emergency accommodation expected to run out within weeks.

The number of arrivals is, however, significantly down on forecasts last week from Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who said it could be up to 20,000 people.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the number of people being displaced from Ukraine into Europe is rising "steadily" again after a "slight dip".

"The figures themselves I think, while we saw a slight dip during the week in terms of the daily numbers, they have started to steadily increase again," she said.

"Our focus is making sure that the people who do arrive here, that we've accommodation for them, that we can get them their temporary protection letter, that they have their PPSN number and that they have as much support as they need."

Tents and prefabs

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The Cabinet has been told that tents, prefabs and emergency dormitory-style units will have to be used to house refugees arriving in the State within weeks, because emergency accommodation will be used up.

The Government has worked to identify larger empty properties such as churches, private entities and commercial premises for conversion into semi-permanent or permanent accommodation.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said 500 “significant” properties had been identified so far for possible use, according to a report in The Irish Times.

“They would be refurbishments. A lot of what we are going to be doing is taking old commercial stock, old state stock and converting that in to apartments or homes,” he told RTÉ Radio’s Today with Claire Byrne on Wednesday.

He said “nothing was off the table” to meet the need for emergency accommodation, with modular homes also a consideration.

It is understood that the bill for providing accommodation, health and education to refugees could reach €1.7 billion this year.

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