'real pressure' | 

Emergency housing to be offered to 480 asylum seekers following Dublin violence

“The accommodation system is under real pressure right now. As long as people are being left unaccommodated, it's not working as it should”

The remains of a camp in Sandwith Street, Dublin, following a protest on Friday night where it was dismantled and later set alight (Niall Carson/PA)© Niall Carson

Minister for integration Roderic O’Gorman (Niall Carson/PA)© Niall Carson

Neasa Cumiskey

The Government has said emergency accommodation will be provided for hundreds of asylum seekers who currently have no place to live in a matter of days.

Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman said on Monday that “several hundred” beds “came online” over the weekend and will be made available following violent scenes at a makeshift campsite in Dublin city centre on Friday evening.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland on Monday, Minister O’Gorman confirmed that 480 international protection seekers are currently without accommodation.

He added that more offers are expected to be made in the next few weeks.

“The accommodation system is under real pressure right now. As long as people are being left unaccommodated, it's not working as it should,” he said.

“We are responding to an unprecedented situation. We’re accommodating 84,000 people now between Ukrainian displaced persons and international protection applicants.

“As we know at the start of last year, we were accommodating 8,500 people.

“Irrespective of how robust the system you have, when you have that kind of increase, you're going to put a strain on it. We see that same strain on systems across Europe.

Scenes from Sandwith Street following confrontation involving asylum seekers sleeping rough

“We're accommodating people in hotels and former barracks and in refurbished offices.”

Continuing, Minister O’Gorman said: “Over the next week, we'll be in the position to make a significant amount of offers of accommodation to people who up to this point have been unaccommodated.

“As of the start of this weekend, there was (sic) just around 480 people who we haven't been able to make an offer of accommodation to.

“We will be able to make, over the course of this week, offers to a significant number of this group.

Minister for integration Roderic O’Gorman (Niall Carson/PA)© Niall Carson

“We've got a couple of hundred beds coming online across this week. We already had some come out and come online on Friday.”

Minister O’Gorman said that while 5,000 beds have provided through the system so far this year, half of those have been used to accommodate people who were displaced after hotel contracts ended.

The Green Party TD also said that he and Justice Minister Simon Harris had been in touch with Gardaí following a violent protest that saw a campsite on Sandwith Street burnt down with asylum seekers’ possessions destroyed.

“Myself and [Justice] Minister [Simon] Harris will be meeting with An Garda Siochana management during the week to discuss the response to protests,” Minister O’Gorman said.

“Obviously, people have the right to disagree with Government policy, people have the right to protest but they don't have a right to intimidate people.

“They don't have a right to commit acts of violence.”

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