Rate of Ukrainians arriving in Ireland 10 times the EU average

Rate Of Ukrainians Arriving In Ireland 10 Times The Eu Average
There has been a 72.1 per cent increase in the number of Ukrainians seeking international protection in the Republic in the 12 months to the end of September 2023 as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Peter Lazar/ AFP)
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Seán McCárthaigh

The rate of increase of Ukrainians arriving in Ireland over the past 12 months was 10 times higher than the average increase in numbers fleeing to the EU from Ukraine over the same period.

Official statistics published by the European Commission show that there has been a 72.1 per cent increase in the number of Ukrainians seeking international protection in the Republic in the 12 months to the end of September 2023 as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


Over the same time, the number of Ukrainian citizens seeking refuge across the EU rose by just 7.2 per cent.

The figures were published shortly after Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, said the Government had to take action to “slow down” the number of Ukrainians coming to Ireland.

It is the second-highest rate of increase among the 27 EU member states over the past year after Romania, where the number of refugees from Ukraine have effectively doubled to around 140,000.

Over the same period, the number of Ukrainian refugees has dropped in six countries including Poland where they have fallen back by over 30 per cent with over 400,000 availing of temporary protection.


The other EU member states were the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, France, Sweden and Austria.

However, numbers fleeing the war in Ukraine are up 20 per cent or more in all other EU member states apart from Estonia.

Figures show the number of Ukrainians who have been granted temporary protection in Ireland stood at 53,830 in September 2022.

However, the figure increased by almost 40,000 in the space of 12 months to 93,050.


When citizens of other non-EU countries who fled the Russian invasion of Ukraine are included, the figure rises to 94,085.

According to the latest monthly figures, Ireland has the third highest net increase in new arrivals of people seeking international protection from the war in Ukraine in absolute terms within the EU in September.

Official statistics show that there was a net increase of 2,875 in individuals from Ukraine granted temporary protection status in the Republic in September

It represented a 3.2 per cent increase on the previous month.


It was also the largest monthly percentage increase recorded in any EU member state where overall numbers rose by 0.8 per cent on average.

Only Germany and the Netherlands had larger net increases in new temporary asylum seekers from Ukraine in net absolute terms with 19,205 and 3,685 respectively in September.

In the same month, five EU member states – the Czech Republic, France, Poland, Slovenia and Luxembourg, recorded a decrease in the overall number of people from Ukraine under temporary protection.

The latest figures show almost 4.2 million individuals fleeing Ukraine have temporary protection status in one of the EU’s 27 member states with Germany accounting for over 28 per cent of the total with almost 1.2 million, followed by Poland with almost 959,000 and the Czech Republic with around 358,000.


The strong increase in the numbers seeking temporary protection in Ireland is believed to be one of the reasons the Government is considering lowering the level of accommodation and welfare supports to refugees from Ukraine.

A row broke out among ministers at a Cabinet meeting in recent weeks over the current level of supports.

Among the proposed changes being promoted by the Minister for Integration, Roderic O’Gorman, is a 90-day limit on accommodation provided by the State due to the pressure being experienced in finding housing for all new arrivals from Ukraine.

However, the Tánaiste Micheál Martin has opposed the measure claiming it would simply create problems for the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien.

Several Government ministers including the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, have acknowledged that any change to supports is a “complex” issue.

A decision on possible changes to supports is not now expected before next month at the earliest.

A spokesperson for the Department of Justice said an EU directive placed specific obligations on Ireland and all member states to provide supports and benefits that beneficiaries should be entitled to.

The spokesperson said Ireland had taken a higher number of beneficiaries from Ukraine than the EU average to date.

Ireland has the 9th highest rate of refugees fleeing the Russian invasion on a per capita basis.

The ratio of people from Ukraine granted temporary protection across the EU is 9.3 per 1,000 population with the Czech Republic having the highest at 33.1 per 1,000 population.

Several other countries have ratios in excess of 25 per 1,000 population including Estonia, Poland, Bulgaria and Lithuania.

Ireland currently has 18.1 refugees from Ukraine per 1,000 population.

Ukrainian citizens account for 98 per cent of beneficiaries of temporary protection across the EU.

Adult women make up 46.5 per cent of those granted temporary protection with children accounting for 33.7 per cent of the total and adult men comprising just under 20 per cent.

In September, the European Council agreed to extend the temporary protection for people fleeing from Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine a further 12 months to March 4th, 2025.

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