More Ukrainian refugees told no accommodation for them in Ireland at moment

‘A further ten people, all single males, were informed that no accommodation was available’

Martin Heydon (Photo: Frank McGrath)

Conor Feehan and Ciara O'

Ten Ukrainian refugees who arrived in Ireland yesterday have been told there is no accommodation for them, bringing the total number to 44 this week.

Yesterday it had been revealed that 33 refugees had been told there was no accommodation for them, but this afternoon the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) confirmed that “a further ten people, all single males, were informed that no accommodation was available and asked to provide contact details for when it does become available.”

The refugees, all single men, were first processed and given temporary protection status at the Citywest transit hub but were told there was no accommodation available for them and that they would be contacted when beds became available.

It comes as RTÉ News reported that a number of Ukrainian refugees claimed to have spent Friday night sleeping in Dublin Airport after they were turned away from Citywest.

The Capuchin Day Centre is also understood to have catered for more than a dozen Ukrainian refugees on Saturday morning.

Reacting yesterday, Minister of State for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Martin Heydon said it is “disappointing” that Ireland currently can’t offer a bed to all those looking for refuge, but said that work is underway on a short-term emergency response to the situation.

“My understanding is 33 male Ukrainians were unable to be accommodated which is a very disappointing place for us to be in,” Minister Heydon said on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday with Katie Hannon.

“Their contact details were taken and they were linked up with NGOs

“I don’t know the exact details, but from Monday, Dublin Airport will have overnight facilities as people are bussed to Citywest at 3 or 4 in the morning.

“We have to be up straight and honest with people outside of the country thinking of coming; we cannot guarantee everyone that comes here a bed right now because of the situation that we are in.

“We have to be upfront and honest about that while we double our efforts to offer those medium-term solutions as well as the short-term emergency response.”

Work is currently underway to establish a temporary overnight accommodation facility for asylum seekers at Dublin Airport and it is expected that the accommodation facility will be ready tomorrow.

On Friday, the Department of Children said it didn’t anticipate any refugees would have to sleep in the airport.

“At present, it is not anticipated that anyone will have to stay at the airport over the weekend. DCEDIY is currently working with DAA to set up a temporary facility. It is expected this will be available early next week,” a spokesperson said.

They added that access to “suitable accommodation is severely constrained” and current projections indicate a shortfall of 15,000 beds by December as the number of Ukrainians and international protection applicants arriving is expected to remain at “elevated levels”.

The Department of Justice confirmed that 1,324 people from Ukraine were given temporary protection in the seven days to October 20.

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