The Social Protection Minister say the ongoing opposition to the opening of new direct Provision centres around the country is at odds with the welcoming nature of Irish society.
Regina Doherty was speaking after the Government paused its plans to home 13 vulnerable women in a hotel on Achill Island.
The decision was taken amid ongoing protests outside the Head Hotel in Pollagh.
Minister Doherty said Ireland will struggle to meet its international responsibilities regarding refugees if plans for new centres meet “resistance wherever we go” in the country.
“These are, in this particular instance, women who have left very, very difficult situations and probably, in a lot of cases, have left their families behind,” she said.
“Ireland has always been the land of a thousand welcomes – that is not hugely reflected at the moment.”
She said the Government may need to change the way it communicates with communities earmarked to host new centres.
“At the end of the day, I think we are very welcoming society,” she said.
“I think the vast majority of people in this country acknowledge and appreciate the responsibilities that we have to other human beings who are coming from war-torn countries.
“I think we need to find a better way to communicate and to work with communities and if that is only the case then I think that is very, very doable.
“I hope that is only the case.”
Yesterday the Department of Justice said it had “regrettably” put its plans for the Achill hotel on hold due to the ongoing protests outside it.
It said the women would have had a “maximum stay” of three months on the island while their asylum applications were processed.
It said it had to shelve the plan because asking the women to move there would "not be in their best interests" considering their vulnerability.
It said it was "disappointed" at the continuing protests but will continue to engage with public representatives from the area.
Meanwhile, demonstrators are still gathered outside the hotel this evening.
The Minister of State for Immigration and Integration David Stanton is calling on them to stand down.
“I am calling on the protesters to stand down,” he said.
“We need the accommodation. The people that are here that need our protection need the accommodation.
“At the same time, as you can appreciate, whether it is intentional or not, it would be quite intimidating for people if we try to place them in there with people outside in yellow vests protesting.
“It would be very intimidating indeed.”