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Citywest Hotel Leah Farrell/
Asylum Seekers

89 asylum seekers left without accommodation last week after Citywest closure

The Department of Integration has confirmed it has sourced a “limited number of additional beds” for asylum seekers.

A TOTAL OF 89 international protection applicants were left without accommodation last week after the Citywest Transport Hub closed to new arrivals on Tuesday. 

In a statement to The Journal, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth confirmed an additional eight international protection applicants were not accommodated over the weekend.

This brings the total since Tuesday to 89. 

The Department confirmed it has sourced a “limited number of additional beds” for asylum seekers. 

“All those who had not been offered accommodation from 24 to 27 January and provided contact details were contacted. The Department is continuing to work intensively to source further accommodation.” 

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 said last week: “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.”

They 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.

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

Speaking today, Minister of State Joe O’Brien said the State needs to improve its efforts to house asylum seekers. 

“We’re at the stage where we kind of need to take it to another level. We need, in my view, more State homes, more State-controlled accommodation, we are too reliant on private providers,” O’Brien said. 

“We have human rights obligations that we need to fulfil as a State. We can’t be relying on private providers to do that. So it’s got to the stage where we need to source and obtain and take control of more State accommodation ourselves to fulfil our duties,” he said. 

With reporting by Press Association

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