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Sam Boal/
Asylum Seekers

26 additional asylum seekers unable to be accommodated by State

A total of 81 international protection applicants could not be housed this week.

AN ADDITIONAL 26 asylum seekers could not be offered State accommodation yesterday, bringing the total to 81, the Department of Integration has said.

The Government announced the closure of the shelter to new arrivals on Tuesday after the transit hub reached capacity, which also followed a shortage of accommodation options across the country.

A spokesperson for the Department said: “An additional 26 people were not accommodated on January 27th, bringing the total since Tuesday to 81.

“The Department has sourced a limited number of additional beds for international protection applicants. All those who had not been offered accommodation between Tuesday and Thursday and provided contact details will be contacted today (28 January).

“The Department is continuing to work intensively to source further accommodation.”

The head of the Irish office of the UN’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Enda O’Neill has said that Ireland is capable of accepting the number of people who are currently seeking asylum here – but that now is the time for the State to build a system to do so adequately.

In an interview with The Journal, O’Neill suggests that Ireland is “clearly in breach” of its legal obligations around asylum seekers after it stopped providing emergency shelter to international protection applicants at the Citywest centre earlier this week.

It comes after the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission made similar remarks to this publication earlier this week.

protest 910 Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

O’Neill said that Ireland’s experience is common across the EU, highlighting figures which show a similarly high or higher proportion of Ukrainian refugees entering countries in eastern Europe.

According to these figures, Poland is hosting around 1.5 million people from Ukraine, equivalent to 4% of its population; Czechia is hosting another 480,000 Ukrainians, while Slovakia is hosting 100,000.

The accommodation of refugees has also been a focus of anti-immigrant and far right figures in recent weeks.

Angry demonstrations have taken place across the country, including in East Wall, Drimnagh, Ballymun, Killarney, Fermoy and Wicklow.

A new coalition of activists from various parts of Dublin was launched today at Leinster House. Dublin Communities Against Racism has said it rejects conflict and division, and has called on residents of the various communities it represents to direct their anger “at the establishment and government.”