People fleeing the war in Ukraine are being held at Dublin Airport due to a ‘severe shortage’ of State accommodation.
There has been a significant increase in people seeking international protection in recent weeks – with as many as 150 people arriving every day.
The Department of Children yesterday told a briefing of Irish NGOs that it has had to pause the intake of new arrivals into existing State accommodation because it has run out of available beds.
The Citywest conference centre is already hosting more than 1,000 people who have fled the war and the Department of Children said there is no immediate contingency plan in place.
It is believed the UK’s Rwanda policy is having an impact with the Irish Protection Service having already received more than double the number of applications it received last year in the first few months of 2022.
Last night, the Department said new arrivals would have to stay in Dublin Airport if they don’t have alternative accommodation.
It said officials were “working intensively” on alternative arrangements and it is understood new accommodation will be opened at Gormanstown army camp in the coming days.
Meanwhile, alternative sites and centres could also be opened as part of a ‘multi-layered response’ to the situation.
Most of the people arriving into Ireland are women and children and a Government spokesperson said ensuring their security, health and safety remains a top priority.
The Taoiseach and Government ministers will meet today to discuss the situation.