Taoiseach defends Government's record on housing Ukrainians fleeing war

ireland
Taoiseach Defends Government's Record On Housing Ukrainians Fleeing War Taoiseach Defends Government's Record On Housing Ukrainians Fleeing War
Speaking in Cork, Mr Martin said that the number of people seeking international protection, separate from Ukrainians, has increased dramatically this year. Photo: PA.
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Olivia Kelleher

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has defended the record of this country in relation to housing Ukrainians fleeing the war, and says that in spite of challenges Ireland will do everything in its power to assist those who make their way to our shores.

Speaking in Cork, Mr Martin said that the number of people seeking international protection, separate from Ukrainians, has increased dramatically this year.

"[It is] for a variety of reasons and we are doing further analysis on that. I mean the average prior to this year would have been about three and a half thousand. We are now looking at potentially 14,000 in this calendar year seeking international protection.

"We are doing everything we possibly can in terms of procuring accommodation and a range of measures will be dealt with today by the Government following on the Cabinet Subcommittee last week across the broad suite of areas that need to be dealt with," he said.

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"The Department of Housing is already assisting in terms of the reconfiguration of existing buildings — be they public buildings or some in the private sector. "

Mr Martin said that Europe needs to "stay united" in terms of its approach to helping the people of Ukraine.

"Ukraine is in a very vicious war which is targeting civilians. We have to stay together to ensure that Putin doesn't win and that his strategy of weaponising migration, weaponising energy and weaponising food does not succeed.

"We have not experienced this type of situation since World War II in the continent of Europe. We are in a wartime situation and it is having its impacts and it is stretching and challenging our accommodation. Of that there is no doubt."

Mr Martin added that relative to our other European colleagues Ireland has responded "very strongly " to the crisis in Ukraine.

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"55,000 people that have fled Ukraine have now come in to Ireland. We would be ahead of most countries in Western Europe in terms of per capita numbers that have come in to Ireland. So I think that always needs to be taken on board when we we are making analysis of the wider situation.

"That said there is significant challenges ahead there is no doubt. We need more capacity. I believe we can create additional capacity although it will remain challenging. We will work with the Ukrainian embassy and community in terms of those issues."

 

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