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Wednesday 31 May 2023 Dublin: 14°C
Leah Farrell/ A mural showing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Exchequer street in Dublin.
# Roderic O'Gorman
Number of Ukrainians arriving falls and payment for host families being considered – O'Gorman
Roderic O’Gorman said Ireland won’t be able to accommodate all arrivals in own-room settings.

THE NUMBER OF Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland has fallen compared with recent weeks, according to integration minister Roderic O’Gorman.

The Green Party politician said there has been a decrease in the numbers of people arriving in Ireland, having fled Russia’s invasion.

“Certainly this week, the numbers have been lower than perhaps the previous two weeks,” O’Gorman said.

However, he noted that increased fighting in eastern parts of Ukraine is expected to lead to more people leaving the country and seeking refuge in other EU nations.

The most recent figures show that around 21,000 refugees have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion. Approximately 13,000 of these people are staying in accommodation provided by the State.

Minister O’Gorman said that the Department of Housing is examining medium and long-term means that can be put in place to accommodate Ukrainian refugees.

“We’re in a position right now where we can accommodate people – and I believe we can continue to accommodate people – as they arrive at current levels,” he told RTÉ’s News At One programme.

“It is tight, and we have to be upfront – we’re not going to be able to accommodate everybody in hotel or even own-room accommodation. There may come a time when we need to use larger accommodation centres.”

It’s not ideal, but again, shelter and safety is what we’re trying to offer Ukrainians when they come to our country.

O’Gorman reiterated statements made by his cabinet colleagues that the Government will examine making payments to those who host Ukrainian refugees in their homes. 

He said approximately half of the people who pledged accommodation have been contacted and it’s hoped that all of them will have been contacted by the end of the week.

“The Red Cross have done a great job [assessing accommodation pledges]. But they’ve had to upscale an operation that had dealt with maybe 600 pledges across five years to receiving almost 25,000 pledges in five weeks,” O’Gorman noted.

The minister said the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is examining whether people can be offered payment for accommodating refugees in their home or holiday homes. 

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