The Government has asked sporting organisations to make clubhouses and other facilities available to house Ukrainian refugees.
Cabinet was yesterday told that as many as 32,000 people may have fled from Ukraine to Ireland by the end of the week.
Ministers heard that 90% to 95% of the refugees that arrive in the coming weeks and months will be housed in emergency accommodation – including on camp beds in community halls, convents, army barracks and other public buildings.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, the junior Sports Minister Jack Chambers said up to 40,000 people could arrive before the end of the month.
He said he has written to the country’s main sporting organisations - including the FAI, IRFU, GAA and Sport Ireland - to see if they have facilities that could be used as accommodation.
“As we see increasing numbers arriving into Ireland … that will provide significant challenges to our existing emergency and services accommodation,” he said.
“That’s why we need to see that whole-of-society response and I think the sporting organisations have been very positive.
“They are engaging with their grassroots to see what might be possible in certain clubhouses where they could host or maybe have the capacity for 50 or more people – where they are structurally sound and have toilets and showers and kitchen facilities.”
Cabinet was also informed that around half the pledges of accommodation received through the Red Cross are now expected to fall through.
Just over half of the 24,000 pledges have been contacted so far – with the Red Cross expecting to complete the call-out by the end of the week.
Minister Chambers said Sport Ireland is working to see whether its complex in Abbotstown can be used as accommodation.
“They are engaging with Fingal County Council and the International Protection Accommodation Service to see what might be suitable there,” he said.
“I think it’s important we show leadership with our own facilities as well.”
Yesterday, the FAI confirmed that it had written to all clubs and affiliates asking them to help with the provision of short-term emergency accommodation for Ukrainian refugees.
FAI President Gerry McAnaney said the situation will be “quite drastic for the next two months” and said there are many ways Irish football can help.
“Members may consider acting as host families for our visitors from Ukraine in this period,” he said.
“Members may have access to residential or non-residential units that can help with this short-term crisis, or they may know somebody who can help with accommodation.
“Every little bit will make a difference in this situation.
“We are due to play Ukraine in the UEFA Nations League in June so let’s continue to show solidarity with our friends from Ukraine between now and then.”
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