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The tented accommodation in the Gormanston Army Camp in Co Meath. GIS
Refugees

About 150 refugees to arrive to 16-per-tent Defence Forces marquees in Gormanston tomorrow

Further sanctions against Russia are on the cards.

LAST UPDATE | Jul 18th 2022, 9:40 AM

ABOUT 150 REFUGEES are set to move into the tented accomodation in Gormanston tomorrow, with about 16 people staying in each of the tents. 

Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman said today that the “wartime situation” being experienced has necessitated the use of the tents, which are military-grade marquees used by the Defence Forces. 

O’Gorman said the Co Meath accommodation centre can house up to 350 people but that his hope would be that people there don’t stay for longer than a week before being moved to a more permanent facility. 

“Initially we’ll be moving about 150 people in on that on Tuesday, there’s capacity for 350 in total once Gormanston is up and running. It’s tented accommodation, so it’s large military, Defence Forces marquee tents,” O’Gorman told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

There’s a number set out as sleeping accommodation for families and then there’s a number for recreation and canteen as well.

The minister also told the programme that refugees were no longer sleeping in the old terminal building at Dublin Airport and that numbers had also been reduced at the Citywest reception centre. 

He said that the use of a second reception centre similar to the Citywest facility was approved but that the location had not yet been confirmed as negotiations were underway. 

003 Gormanston Tent Village A picture of the site from above. GIS GIS

Local authorities had been asked to identify suitable or unused buildings that could house refugees and O’Gorman said that “at least 3,000″ such units had not been proposed to his department that will be coming on stream in the coming weeks. 

These require refurbishment and in different areas the degree of refurbishment is to a greater or lesser extent. So as I say that the first tranche of these, which is spaces for about 500 individuals, have now been handed over and we will be looking at to move people into those this week and in coming weeks.  

O’Gorman defended the government’s handling of the refugee crisis, saying that 42,000 Ukrainian refugees had arrived into this county, with about 30,000 requiring accommodation.

Brussels 

simon-coveney-visiting-poland File photo. Minister Simon Coveney PA PA

Elsewhere, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney  is in Brussels for a meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, which is convening to discuss the war in Ukraine.

Further sanctions against Russia are on the cards, including a ban on gold purchases from the country and the placing of more individuals on a blacklist, as well as additional support for Ukraine through the European Peace Facility.

EU foreign ministers will be joined through video teleconference by Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba.

In a statement, Coveney said that the “EU’s resolve to support Ukraine in its response to Russia’s illegal, unjustifiable and morally reprehensible war against Ukraine remains unyielding”.

“We have repeatedly demonstrated this through the different strands of support that the EU has provided, including in relation to sanctions and the provision of military assistance,” he said.

“Our discussions at the Foreign Affairs Council will be a further opportunity to build on this support, including through a fifth package of assistance under the European Peace Facility and a seventh package of sanctions.”

The council, which is meeting today and tomorrow, will also discuss relations between the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean.

“This is an excellent opportunity to consider how the EU can best strengthen our strategic relationship and cooperation with an important partner,” Coveney said.

“The consequences of Russia’s war are being felt globally, and we must work together to mitigate the worst effects for our citizens.”

Other items on the agenda include foreign information manipulation and interference, the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a possible EU-Israel association council, the upcoming ministerial meeting between the EU and the League of Arab States, and the situation in Sri Lanka and Tunisia.

The council is due to approve conclusions on EU Digital Diplomacy, foreign information manipulation and interference, EU priorities at the 77th United Nations General Assembly, and EU development aid targets for 2022.

- With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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