Dublin’s CityWest hotel is full to capacity and Ukrainians arriving in Ireland have recently been asked to sleep at Dublin Airport, such is the severity of the housing crisis.
In July, the Government took out a two-year lease on Dublin’s CityWest hotel. However, all 764 rooms are currently in use and the number of refugees continues to rise.
There are currently over 50,000 Ukrainians refugees in Ireland, while there has also been a surge in asylum seekers from other countries fleeing to Irish shores since the end of international travel restrictions.
For the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, it is a situation that is simply not good enough.
“It’s shocking that people won’t have a place to stay,” Lucky Khambule, the co-founder of MASI, told Newstalk Breakfast.
“We are very concerned with the way that the Government is reacting in terms of this influx of new people that are coming.
“We would think they would have found a solution with regard to helping people that are new in the country.
“We still feel that people that are new need to be able to be [treated in a way] that is fair and with dignity.”
Last month, Minister Roderic O’Gorman said his department would need around €850 million to meet the “very significant costs” of accommodating Ukrainians and other individuals seeking international protection in Ireland.
However, sourcing appropriate accommodation remains an issue and the Government has been warned that some of its solutions - such as housing people in tents - could be illegal.
Mr Khambule says that MASI sympathises with the Government’s predicament but still feels that people should not be sleeping at an airport.
“We understand the fact that there is this huge, huge [influx] of people that are coming that the country has never seen before,” he said.
“But the treatment still needs to be right and we are really, really concerned with regards to what is happening now.”
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has been contacted for comment.
Main image: Ukrainian refugees walk along vehicles lining-up to cross the border. Picture by: AP Photo/Sergei Grits.