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Friday 8 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Leah Farrell/ Citywest Hotel

55 asylum seekers left without accommodation since Citywest closure

The International Protection Accommodation Service will continue to provide accommodation for families with children.

A TOTAL OF 55 international protection applicants have been left without accommodation since the Citywest Transit Hub closed to new arrivals this week.

In a statement to The Journal, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said: “The Department can confirm the number of international protection applicants not accommodated yesterday is 31.

“This is in addition to 24 who were not accommodated since Tuesday, for a total of 55 people not accommodated across this week.” 

While the Citywest is closed to new arrivals, it will remain open for all other matters, including processing of accommodation for Ukrainian Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection (BOTP).

The International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) will also continue to provide accommodation for IP families with children.

Since the beginning of last year, the Department said Ireland has accommodated more than 73,000 people between International Protection Applicants (IPAs) and those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

A spokesperson added: “The response to the ongoing migration crisis has now entered an extremely difficult phase, with insufficient accommodation available nationwide for International Protection applicants, and the outlook for accommodation for people fleeing the war in Ukraine is also challenging.

“Due to the nationwide shortage of available accommodation for International Protection applicants, particularly single males, the Transit Hub has been providing emergency shelter while applicants wait to be assigned to accommodation. 

“It is no longer possible to provide emergency shelter to International Protection adults as the Transit Hub has now reached capacity.”

The Department added that any IPAs who are not provided with accommodation upon arrival or when applying for International Protection will have their contact details taken and be contacted as soon as accommodation becomes available.

In a a statement to The Journal yesterday, the Department said International Protection Applicants “may also source their own accommodation or stay with family or friends”.

This is the third time the Citywest has closed to new arrivals but Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman warned last week that the current closure will be “for a longer period”.

In a statement yesterday evening, the Dublin Simon Outreach Team said it is out on the streets every day of the week to support people sleeping rough to access accommodation. 

A spokesperson added: “While the team is not seeing an increase in the number of asylum seekers bedding down on the streets of Dublin late at night, as with every vulnerable person they meet, our team will do everything in their power to support any asylum seekers then encounter.”

The spokesperson said they will “continue to support everyone we can” but warned that their “services are already operating at and beyond capacity as we grapple with the highest levels of homelessness we have seen in our over 50 years of service provision”. 

With reporting by Diarmuid Pepper

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