Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman has asked his cabinet colleagues for “urgent assistance” to find large rooms where cots and sleeping bags could be used by refugees.
The Green Party minister has sent a letter to all other ministers warning that there appears to be no accommodation “on the horizon” for applicants for international protection.
The Citywest Transit Hub was closed last week due to capacity constraints. As a result, many asylum seekers have nowhere to stay.
In his letter to his cabinet colleagues, seen by the Irish Mirror, Minister O’Gorman said the current number of arrivals was “unprecedented”.
“Ireland is now accommodating over 74,000 refugees in State-funded accommodation, compared to 7,500 at this time last year,” he said, reports The Mirror.
Minister O’Gorman has called for large buildings capable of housing 50 to 100 people or more. The buildings would be used “in the short to medium term.
He also pointed out that the Department of Integration will handle the facilities management and NGO support in the buildings.
“I would ask for any assistance you, your Department and your wider sectors can give in providing these buildings for immediate use,” he added, reports The Mirror.
Secretary O’Gorman has asked his cabinet colleagues on several occasions for help in providing shelter for refugees and asylum seekers.
However, there has been some frustration with the lack of upcoming properties, as the Irish Mirror understands.
Earlier this week it was confirmed that 120 international asylum seekers will be housed at the Colum Barracks in Mullingar in the coming weeks. You will be hosted here for a short period of time until more suitable accommodation becomes available. This led to protests in the area.
The Ministry of Integration, however, uses only one of the 35 buildings acquired to end direct assistance to Ukrainian refugees.
A ministry spokesman told The Mirror it was hoped more of these properties would be used from the second quarter of 2023.
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