33 Ukrainian refugees unable to be accommodated last night

Thirty-three Ukrainian refugees who landed in Ireland this week were told yesterday that there was no shelter for them.

At Citywest, they were all processed and granted temporary protection.

According to the Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth, all of that who refused accommodation were single men.

It said that no freshly arrived ladies or children had been sent away.

This morning, the Capuchin Day Centre catered to more than a dozen Ukrainian immigrants, all of whom were carrying luggage.

RTÉ News spoke to a number of them who said they had spent last night sleeping in Dublin Airport after they were turned away from Citywest.

The government said on Thursday that the Citywest transportation hub was at capacity.

Minister Roderic O’Gorman stated that while the most vulnerable will be accommodated this weekend, others would not be, and he could not rule out the possibility of individuals sleeping rough as a result.

International protection applicants are similarly being turned away without accommodation, but figures for how many have already been told there is no accommodation for them are not available.

Martin Heydon, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine, said the Government “cannot guarantee” a bed for every refugee arriving in Ireland.

Mr Heydon said the Irish Government and society has made huge efforts to deal with the scale of the crisis and the arrival of Ukrainian refugees.

‘We are talking about 60,000 people who have come to our shores this year, who are seeking and who have been accommodated by the State. Today, that compares to 7,250 this time last year, that’s the equivalent of the population of Waterford city,” he said.

Minister Heydon was repeating comments made by Minister O’Gorman yesterday, who said that the government was “not in a position to guarantee everyone an offer of accommodation.”

“What we will do is prioritise vulnerable people, we’ll prioritise women and children in terms of the provision of accommodation and for those who we are not able to offer accommodation to we will work with NGOs to provide some services to them,” O’Gorman said.

“That’s why we’re speaking very clearly today and engaging with the Ukrainian embassy in terms of letting people know that there is a major constraint on capacity, particularly next week. It’s not that we have no accommodation available, but we don’t have enough accommodation available.”

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