Ukrainian refugees: Of 10,360 host pledges approved, 4,067 remain 'uncontactable'

Ukrainian Refugees: Of 10,360 Host Pledges Approved, 4,067 Remain 'Uncontactable'
According to Red Cross figures, seen by, 5,350 pledges were duplicates due to pledgers applying several times inadvertently. Photo: Getty Images
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James Cox

A total of 23,483 host pledges for Ukrainian refugees have been made to the Irish Red Cross, while 10,360 pledges have been regarded as available for placement.

According to Red Cross figures, seen by, 5,350 pledges were duplicates due to people applying several times inadvertently.


Of the 10,360 hosts approved through the Register of Pledges (ROP), 4,067 have "remained uncontactable and this is after numerous calls and e-mails", according to the Red Cross.

Meanwhile, 7,773 were later withdrawn by the pledgers mainly because of a change in their circumstances.

The Red Cross said some of these withdrawals came as people "were frustrated by the long wait to receive a refugee" and "some because they had already taken in a refugee via an unofficial channel or the Offer a Home scheme".

A total of 3,646 have received Ukrainian refugees, 1,335 are currently available and being worked on, 494 are viable, but the pledger has asked the team to wait until later in the year.


Of the remainder, 410 are viable but for emergency use only (one month), 284 are unsuitable due to being too rural (requiring transport), 109 are unsuitable due to requiring too much investment to meet health and safety standards, and 15 unsuitable due to other concerns.

The ROP is a website which was set up in 2015 by the Irish Red Cross and used for the first time in late 2016 to receive pledges of accommodation from people in Ireland for Syrian refugees.

After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the ROP was available to the public and active so became the "natural vehicle" for people who wished to pledge. At this time the ROP was not supported financially by Government.

'Extremely generous response'

The volume of pledges was so great that it initially crashed the website. After technical support, this was "immediately" dealt with and resulted in 21,428 pledges being received by the end of 2022 and since then a further 2,055, all of which is an "extraordinarily generous response from the Irish public".


From March 2022, the Red Cross and the Department of Equality and Children (DCEDIY) administered the system and over a few months built a database to receive and report on the inbound data from the ROP.

The Customer Relations Management tool (CRM) was a "critical tool" in enabling the tracking, progressing and utilisation of each pledge.

The pledgers were responded to by four call centres over a two-month period and the viable and available pledges were forwarded to the Department in June 2022 for placement, mainly by the local authorities assisted by several voluntary organisations including the Red Cross.

The Red Cross said the process was "slower than hoped for given this was a new undertaking", leading to "some frustration for pledgers" and Government.


Garda vetting was another element that caused delays.

Progression was assisted in late 2022 when the local authorities launched their own scheme (Offer a Home) coupled with the Government decision to make available an €800 (initially €400) tax-free monthly accommodation recognition payment for all pledges.

The current status of pledges is that the Red Cross and its partner organisations have placed 8,642 refugees in 3,646 pledged accommodations, the local authorities have placed 4,588 refugees in 1,496 pledged properties via their Offer a Home scheme and the remaining 8,470 refugees have been placed in 5,142 pledges arranged informally.

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