'bursting' | 

Asylum seekers preparing to sleep rough as ‘pause’ put on providing shelter in Ireland

Single adults arriving without children to the Transit Hub at Citywest will now have to find their own accommodation.

Homeless. Photo: Stock© Alamy Stock Photo

Alan Bailey at the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin

Maeve McTaggartSunday World

Some newly arrived asylum seekers are preparing to sleep on the streets following a government decision to stop providing housing to people looking for protection in Ireland.

Due to “insufficient accommodation available nationwide,” the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said a “pause” has been put on organising emergency shelter.

Single adults arriving without children to the Transit Hub at Citywest will now have to find their own accommodation.

Ukrainian refugees and families with children will still be supported.

In a tweet yesterday, the Department asked “those who are considering seeking refuge in Ireland and who are currently in places of safety” to defer their travel plans.

RTÉ News has already reported a number of new arrivals who have applied for international protection in Dublin are unsure where they will sleep tonight.

They are without money or contacts in the country.

Those they spoke to said they received a €20 food voucher and the address of the Capuchin Day Centre.

“We sat down with staff at 6am this morning and worked out the logistics of a big influx today, we feel we are ready for it,” Capuchin Centre manager Alan Bailey told Morning Ireland today.

“We just don’t know what numbers are going to come in. We hope and feel we are ready for them.

Alan Bailey at the Capuchin Day Centre in Dublin

“Once we received the advice from the Government that there may be an influx we’ve been getting ready for it – we were here this morning at 6am to get ready in case we have an influx of the people who arrived yesterday.”

He added that the service has already been opening earlier than usual each day to take people “in off the street.”

“A lot of those are rough sleepers who have spent the night walking the streets,” he added.

“We’re seeing a lot of new people, people who have never been here before. We like to think they know they can come here because they will be comfortable and we will provide the necessities.”

When Citywest has had to close in the past, the centre provided meals, shower facilities and medical services, he said.

"They said themselves where they’re coming from is far worse than anything that can happen here. They were grateful.”

Homeless charity Tiglin chair Aubrey McCarthy has warned services are already “bursting at the seams” following the decision to refuse accommodation to asylum seekers.

“What has happened is, the main hub at Citywest - which was set up to hold 370 people - presently has 858 people staying there," he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"That is not correct and it can’t continue.

"We operate the homeless service right beside Trinity College on Pearse Street called the Lighthouse, we also have homeless services beside the Four Courts and we also do refugee accommodation as well but we are bursting at the seams,” he said.

“We usually serve up to 250 people with dinner but yesterday, we had a 30pc increase just on the meals.”

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