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Locations of five reception centres for Ukrainians confirmed by Government

From tomorrow, changes to Ukrainian supports for new arrivals will kick in.


dublin-ireland-june-19-2022-city-center-decorated-with-ukrainian-flags-by-dublin-city-council-supporting-the-people-of-ukraine-protest-against-russian-invasion-on-ukraine-stand-with-ukraine Ukrainian flags flying in Dublin in June 2022 Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced the location of five new Ukrainian refugee reception centres.

This comes alongside the announcement that the 90 day accommodation limit and cuts to social welfare payments for new arrivals will kick in from tomorrow. 

Six accommodation centres have been identified by the Government to provide 90 days of accommodation for new arrivals from Ukraine. 

The first five confirmed are: 

  • Ballyogan Road, Dublin City (capacity: 392)
  • Stradbally, Co. Laois (capacity: 950)
  • Fernbank, Limerick City (capacity: 250)
  • Punchestown, Co. Kildare (capacity: 378)
  • Gerald Griffin Street, Cork City (capacity: 107)

The Department of Integration has said the focus of supports in these centres will be orientation on living and working in Ireland and the options for sourcing accommodation independently. 

It was announced today that from Thursday 14 March, anyone fleeing the war in Ukraine who registers for temporary protection and looks for state-provided accommodation will be accommodated for 90 days at most. 

While in the designated accommodation centres, people will be provided with food, laundry, other services and integration supports, the Government has said. 

From tomorrow, standard social welfare payments will no longer be available to a person while they are resident in such centres. 

Instead they will be entitled to a reduced weekly allowance of €38.80 per adult and €29.80 per child in respect of daily expenses – equivalent to those seeking asylum from other countries.

Entitlement to child benefit will not be affected by these changes. 

When a person leaves the state accommodation centres, or if they make their own accommodation arrangements on arrival, they will be entitled to apply for standard social welfare assistance, equivalent to Irish citizens subject to meeting the eligibility conditions.

These changes that kick in tomorrow will not affect people from Ukraine who arrived in Ireland before this policy came into force. 

The Government has said it is making these changes to align more closely with other EU member states. 

Political reaction

The Taoiseach was asked today if he is fearful that today’s announcement could spark protests, his response was that he hopes not. 

“My understanding is that two of them are already known and Stradbally has been operational now for some time,” Varadkar said. 

He added that generally speaking we have not seen protests relating to residential centres for Ukrainians.

“Sadly, difficulties that have arisen in terms of protests have been more often connected to people seeking international protection, rather than those coming from Ukraine.

“Nobody is arguing with the fact that people coming from Ukraine are coming from a country that is at war, and is facing bombardment. Rightly or wrongly, there’s greater understanding as to why we need to assist Ukrainians than perhaps is the case for international protection applicants, many of whom are refused protection,” he said.

Elsewhere, Sinn Féin welcomed today’s announcement but raised concerns about the Government’s approach “distorting” the private rental market. 

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection, Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said the changes to social welfare payment for Ukranians were welcome but he said the policy which allows those outside of the five accommodation centres to claim full social welfare payments is “incoherent”, and would place additional pressures on the rental sector.

“It is not difficult to imagine that some people might decide they would be in a better position if they sought accommodation in the private rental market, and it is for that reason that Sinn Féin tabled amendments to the bill, which the government voted down,” the Cork South Central TD said.

He added: “We also completely oppose the government’s proposal to force Ukrainians out of accommodation after 90 days. Not only will this mean that in places where rents are high that many Ukrainians will not be able to find accommodation, it could also lead to some of them sleeping on the streets.”