The Irish Red Cross Secretary General explained that the UK's Rwanda policy is pushing people away

People sleep at Dublin Airport as state-provided spaces for refugees run out

People sleep at Dublin Airport as state-provided spaces for refugees run out

Authorities have a plan to construct 500 modular units, but they are scheduled for completion in 2023

There are no more state-provided accommodations for Ukrainian refugees in Ireland, the Department of Children, Equality, Integration and Youth has said. Consequently, new asylum seekers arriving in the island republic will stay in a vacant building at Dublin Airport, if they have nowhere else to go.

The building was given to the Department of Children by airport authorities for this reason and many of the needs of new arrivals are being taken care of by a Ukrainian volunteer group, as RTÉ reports.

The UK’s Rwanda policy is pushing people to Ireland

According to data from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, there are around 43,000 Ukrainian refugees currently registered in Ireland, however, authorities report an influx of non-Ukrainians as well. Irish Red Cross Secretary General Liam O'Dwyer explained that this may be a result of the UK’s controversial Rwanda policy, pushing asylum seekers to other countries.

The UK and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership, as the agreement is called, involves individuals, identified by the United Kingdom as being illegal immigrants or asylum seekers, being transported to Rwanda for processing of their files. The first flight full of refugees was scheduled to depart the UK on 14 June, however, it was stopped by a last-minute court ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr O’Dwyer argued that this policy was enough of a deterrent to start pushing people fleeing conflict to other countries. As he put it, after an initial influx of Ukrainians coming to Ireland, there was a lull and now arrivals are picking up again.

Another hit to the Irish housing market

The government set up a preliminary refugee centre at Citywest Hotel in Dublin, which is currently housing around 1,000 people. However, as people are crowding the airport, authorities need to take swift action to alleviate the pressure.

One temporary solution to the problem is a proposed tent camp in Gormanston Army Camp. Furthermore, on 29 June the government approved a plan to construct 500 modular homes across the country, with the first units scheduled for completion in November this year. The whole project will be finished in 2023 and will be able to accommodate 2,000 people.

However, there is one big issue regarding the Ukrainian situation in Ireland – the housing crisis. This is because it is unclear whether the Irish housing market will be able to accommodate the sudden influx of people. According to recent census data, Ireland had a very severe housing shortage even before Russia decided to invade.

This is why the government opted to introduce the Housing for All plan, with the aim of making 300,000 additional units available on the market by 2030. However, considering population growth and the fact that Ireland has become a new asylum seeker destination, that number may already be too low.



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