O’Gorman says he can’t rule out future use of tents for migrants – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

O’Gorman says he can’t rule out future use of tents for migrants

Integration Minister Roderick O’Gorman said he could not rule out the use of tent accommodation in the future as the government was under pressure ahead of the autumn, reports Breaking News.

Refugees sheltering in tents at the Electric Picnic music festival site, which hosted 70,000 fans in Stradbally, Co Laois at the weekend, are among 500 applicants for international protection in Ireland who have been held in such facilities.

The government asked the National Plowing Championships to house people after their event in late September, but organizers said they had no camping sites and would need the Ratheniska land for agricultural work.

The Green Party MP also said that around 3,000 refugees had been moved out of dormitories before the academic year, but that most hotel contracts had expired.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mr O’Gorman said: “I can’t rule out further use of the tented accommodation, but I think it’s important to remember in the context of accommodating 70,000 people, we’ll at maximum be accommodating 750 in tents,” reports Breaking News.

He added: “The state is accommodating 70,000 Ukrainians, and right now about 200 are in tented accommodation. That will grow over the next six weeks to about 750 but that’s 750 out of 70,000. In the context of international protection accommodation, we’re accommodating about 23,000 persons and again, it’s about 300 in tented accommodation. So it is a small proportion of our overall offering, but when the system is under pressure like that all options have to be used,” reports Breaking News.

As of June, 84,613 people have fled to Ireland and some 69,885 have sought asylum in the Irish state following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began last February.

The state is also providing accommodation to 23,195 asylum seekers arriving in Ireland, an increase from the Irish state’s expected 3,000-5,000 arrivals per year.

“As I indicated over the summer, we were always going to face a pinch point coming into August and September,” Mr O’Gorman said while speaking at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin, reports Breaking News.

“The primary reason for that was over the summer we were using student accommodation, that was hugely beneficial, hugely useful to us to meet immediate needs of the people arriving in the country. However, over the summer we’ve also seen an increase in the number of Ukrainians arriving here. We’re seeing about maybe 500 a week arriving and needing accommodation. So I suppose the confluence of that did put us under pressure in late August and early September. Across the last four weeks, my department has moved 2,800 people out of student accommodation and into more long-term accommodation. So I suppose that’s the context in which we’re using Stradbally. We’re using the tented accommodation there, accommodation for about 750 people. It’s going to help us when we get through the next number of weeks,” he added, reports Breaking News.

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