Dublin’s CityWest Hotel is packed and Ukrainians arriving in Ireland have recently been told to sleep at Dublin Airport, as the housing crisis is dire.
In July, the government took a two-year lease on the CityWest hotel in Dublin. However, all 764 rooms are currently in use and the number of refugees continues to rise.
At the beginning of October, there were just under 55,000 Ukrainian refugees in Ireland, while there was also a increase in the number of asylum seekers from other countries fleeing to Irish shores since the end of international travel restrictions.
For the Asylum Seekers Movement in Ireland, this is simply not a good enough situation.
“It’s shocking that people don’t have housing,” said Lucky Khambule, co-founder of MASI. Newstalk breakfast.
“We are very concerned about how the government is responding to this influx of new people arriving.
“We think they would have found a solution to help newcomers to the country.
“We always believe that people who are new should be able to be [treated in a way] it is fair and with dignity.
Last month, Minister Roderic O’Gorman said his department would need around 850 million euros to meet the “very significant costs” of hosting Ukrainians and others seeking international protection in Ireland.
However, finding suitable accommodation remains a problem and the government has been warned that some of its solutions – like accommodating people in tents – could be illegal.
Mr Khambule says MASI sympathizes with the government’s predicament but still believes that people should not be sleeping in an airport.
“We understand the fact that there is this huge, huge [influx] of people arriving that the country has never seen before,” he said.
“But the treatment still needs to be right and we’re really, really concerned about what’s happening now.”
The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has been contacted for comments.
Main image: Ukrainian refugees walk alongside vehicles queuing to cross the border. Photo by: AP Photo/Sergei Grits.