The Government is ‘failing’ on refugee housing, Sinn Féin’s Rose Conway Walsh has said.
Contracts with hotels are due to end at the end of April with many hoteliers keen to return to catering for tourists.
Deputy Conway Walsh said this would mean the lives of many refugees would be disrupted once again.
“Families - particularly children where they’ve been going to schools and have settled in in certain locations - are now finding that because many of the hotels cannot continue to accommodate them, they’re going to be moved again,” she said.
“In the meantime, we have thousands of vacant properties across the country; we have failed to process the vacant properties that have been offered as accommodation.”
Earlier this week, the Government announced €20 million in funding for refugee accommodation and it expects to create 400 beds as a result.
Deputy Conway Walsh welcomed the additional funding but said it was “very late in the day”.
“I think the Government has shown so far that because they have failed to plan, this has led to all kinds of difficulties,” she said.
“They have failed to implement their own white paper, which was largely based on the Catherine Day report.
“Part of that was where they committed to setting up six reception centres around the country - and they haven’t done that.
“The Department of Justice promised to end Direct Provision - they haven’t done that.”
Speaking to The Anton Savage Show, Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman defended the Government’s record.
“It’s a wartime situation and I’d also recognise the very significant number of people [who] are in good quality accommodation,” he said.
“There is still some reliance on tented accommodation - that’s not a preference undoubtedly.
“But it is a recognition that we are responding to this huge humanitarian crisis at a time when we already had huge pressures on accommodation in our country.”
Since the invasion of their country last year, the Government has found accommodation for close to 60,000 Ukrainians.
Main image: Ukrainian refugees in the sports hall in Swords. Picture by: Alamy.com