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Citywest closes to new International Protection arrivals, but facility remains open for processing

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

THE PROVISION OF emergency shelter for new International Protection adult applicants arriving to the Citywest Transit Hub has been paused, but the facility will remain operational for processing. 

In a statement this morning, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said “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”. 

“As a result of this, it has now become necessary to pause the provision of emergency shelter for IP adults arriving into the Transit Hub at Citywest,” the Department said.

To date, Ireland has accommodated more than 73,000 people who have fled here, between International Protection (IP) applicants and those fleeing the war in Ukraine. 

The Transit Hub 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.

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

However, the Department said today it is no longer possible to provide emergency shelter to IP adults as the Transit Hub has now reached capacity.

“Any International Protection applicants who are not provided with accommodation upon arrival or when applying for International Protection at the international Protection Office will have their contact details taken and be contacted as soon as accommodation becomes available,” the Department said. 

“The policy will be kept under review, taking account of arrivals of Ukrainian Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection and International Protection applicants and of available accommodation.”

Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman has said last Thursday the Citywest venue was due to reach capacity in the coming days. 

Speaking to RTÉ’s News at One, O’Gorman said: “This will be the third time that we’ve been in this situation. And I think that there is a risk that this time, the closure will be for a longer period.

“When we look at the available accommodation, we think this closure will be a longer one. It could be potentially a number of weeks.”

When asked if there could be a return to Ukrainians sleeping at Dublin Airport due to a lack of accommodation, the minister said that facilities were in place but they were not long-term.

The government had “a line of sight” to additional accommodation becoming available in mid-February from hotels and from buildings being converted, O’Gorman stated.

The Citywest facility previously closed to new arrivals in October last year after reaching capacity. 


Elsewhere, the Department yesterday said it had no choice but to have 123 asylum seekers moved at short notice from the Red Cow Hotel in Clondalkin to a former seminary at Mount St Mary’s in Milltown. 

The Irish Times reported yesterday that the refugees were told on Wednesday evening that they would be moving. 

In a statement to the newspaper, the Department acknowledged that the sudden move may have caused some “distress” to the families involved, but added: Between those fleeing Ukraine and international protection applicants, the State is now accommodating more than 73,000 people, compared to 8,000 at the beginning of 2022.

“As a result, there is now severe pressure on the State’s accommodation capacity.”

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