Ireland already has 56,000 Ukrainian refugees registered, Source: Depositphotos

Ireland can no longer guarantee accommodation to Ukrainian refugees

Ireland can no longer guarantee accommodation to Ukrainian refugees

Minister Roderic O'Gorman said that if arrivals do not decrease, he could not rule out people having to sleep on the streets

Last night, Ireland’s emergency refugee processing centre Citywest Transit Hub, located at Dublin Airport, temporarily closed to new arrivals because it was filled way over capacity and simply was unable to take in more people. Government sources say that there were twice as many people as there were beds.

This prompted a response from the Irish Minister for Children Equality, Disability Integration and Youth Roderic O'Gorman, who urged Ukrainians fleeing the war as well as other asylum seekers, to refrain from coming to the island if they have an alternative.

He also pointed out that the government is trying to work together with the Ukrainian embassy and urged people to stay in mainland Europe if they have a choice. The accommodation situation is so dire that Minister O’Gorman said that he cannot rule out people having to sleep in the street if the flow of refugees does not subside, as the RTÉ reported.

Ukrainian refugees in Ireland

According to data from the UN Human Rights Council data, there are currently 56,000 Ukrainian refugees currently registered in Ireland. However, the problem with finding accommodation has been persistent since at least July, when there were only 43,000 registered Ukrainians.

Back then, the Department of Children, Equality, Integration and Youth sounded the alarm for an accommodation shortage at Citywest and other state-provided facilities. Thankfully, the crisis was averted in the short term by inaugurating a new refugee centre to the north of Dublin, as well as further plans to build modular units, scheduled for completion in 2023.

Minister O'Gorman explained that there currently are around 300 people living in tented accommodations across the country. Yet, he was quick to also point out that these were durable tents, designed to weather the winter.

However, he also stressed that providing accommodation was a government obligation under international treaties – an obligation that Irish authorities would struggle to meet. Minister O’Gorman said that the possibility of people sleeping on the street is on the table.

Furthermore, if the influx would continue at the same pace, the government would have no choice but to start prioritising ‘vulnerable’ women and children over single males when it comes to accommodation.

At the same time, he urged more cross-departmental cooperation on the issue but also said that the start of 2023 could bring an unblocking of accommodation.  

Ireland’s collapsing housing market

Ireland has been rocked by a massive housing crisis, with one of the biggest real-estate platforms,, reporting only 700 properties to rent available in the entire country in August. Back then, Dublin could offer renters just over 300 properties and things seem to remain unchanged since the summer, as the platform now still only offers 300 properties.

Moreover, the acute housing shortage was dubbed a rental market collapse by experts, while thousands of students tried to find accommodation for the autumn university semester. This provoked a walk-out from student unions protesting the situation.

Even the French embassy in Dublin weighed in on the situation in mid-September, urging citizens to secure accommodation before moving to Ireland for work or education. The statement warned would-be arriving French citizens, including students, that they may find significant difficulties in finding accommodation.

In an official statement, the embassy also said that rents, even in shared accommodations now outstrip prices in Paris.



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