About 4,500 Ukrainian refugees staying in hotels in Ireland

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APPROXIMATELY 4,500 Ukrainian refugees are currently staying in hotels.

The number was confirmed by Children’s Minister Roderic O’Gorman today as it is his department that secures initial facilities for people who have fled Ukraine due to the Russian invasion.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1, O’Gorman said the government expected a further escalation in the number of incoming refugees.

“I think we have to be ready in case there is a sudden influx of people arriving at our ports and airports. And in a crisis situation like this, that’s a possibility we have to plan for,” he said. Asked about using a venue like the Green Glens Arena or the National Show Center near Dublin Airport for temporary accommodation due to the number of arrivals, he said ‘this would be a place where we could moving people out of Dublin airport, giving them food, providing somewhere to rest for the short term while we look for hotel accommodation for them”.

He said that currently these pitches would be used for very short stays.

O’Gorman said that for the past two weeks, the department has sought to locate people wherever it can find hotel accommodations nationwide. “In cities, in towns in rural areas and in urban areas,” he said. The aim was to find a place where people could go once they arrived in Ireland.

About 450 people arrive daily from Ukraine in Ireland

The minister also said the department was looking to continue to increase the number of hotel rooms it has, “recognizing the fact that we are likely to see an increased number of people arriving in the days and weeks to come.”

Currently, around 4,500 people are accommodated in hotels across the country.

O’Gorman said the Defense Force has worked with the government and the Red Cross to activate pledges of accommodation that have been made through the Red Cross. He also sought to visit places to ensure that accommodation is suitable for refugees when they move in.

He said all government departments are working closely together to look at longer-term accommodation options for the refugees.

There were about 20,000 promises of accommodations from people through the Red Cross site, and O’Gorman’s department is looking to significantly increase the reduction in those offers starting next week.

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They begin with offers of vacant accommodation within two to three weeks, before continuing with offers of shared accommodation.

Of the 20,000 pledges, approximately 2,000 properties are entirely vacant. A small number were drawn this weekend and it is hoped to increase this considerably.

“I think everyone sees the magnitude of what’s happening in Ukraine,” O’Gorman said.

The people as a country really stood up at this time to do all they can to give people shelter. The government will take up this particular challenge and do what is necessary to ensure that housing can be provided for Ukrainian refugees.

He also said the Ministry of Education will work closely with other ministries in the response.

“Ukrainian children will have full access to our education system,” he said. He said they will provide all necessary supports to ensure that Ukrainian children can participate in the education system.

It was confirmed today by the UN that more than 10 million refugees from Ukraine have fled their homes due to the ongoing invasion by Russia – about a quarter of the population.

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