The Government has been urged to speed up the building of modular homes for Ukrainians.
The Irish Examiner has reported 2,800 Ukrainians will be offered 12 month leases in modular housing units around the country.
Speaking to The Hard Shoulder, trade unionist Brendan Ogle said it was exactly the right solution to the refugee housing crisis.
“My problem with the modular housing is there’s too little of it, it’s taken too long,” he told The Hard Shoulder.
“We need more of it, we need it quicker and we need to get Ukrainian refugees and other asylum seekers and the Irish homeless into proper accommodation, not tourist hotel accommodation.”
The news comes amid complaints about the number of refugees and asylum seekers being accommodated in the hotels of tourist towns.
Killarney restaurateur Paul Treyvaud said housing Ukrainians in hotels might be “fine” for the proprietors but that it was having an adverse impact on other businesses.
“The problem is for the businesses in the town - the bars, the restaurants, the nightclubs, the small shops, everyone that depends on tourism - is having their livelihoods, yet again, put into serious jeopardy,” he said.
“That’s my problem.”
Mr Treyvaud said it was also pushing up the prices of what few beds were unbooked and some operators have begun to avoid Killarney because of it.
“The tour operators for next year - already some for this year - but definitely for next year, are saying, ‘Not so sure we’ll put Killarney on the list because we just can’t get in there.’”
Mr Ogle said he sympathised with those who worked in tourism but added we are living in exceptional times.
“We have a war in Europe,” he said.
“We’re not talking about normal times here; we have the displacement of 8.2 million Ukrainians and in Ireland we’ve taken 780,000.
“We are 17th on the list of countries.
“Little countries like Lithuania and Estonia have taken as much as us.”
In March 2022, EU member states announced Ukrainians would have the right to live and work in the bloc for three years.
Main image: Construction site.