The Irish Government has warned of a “severe shortage” of state accommodation for arriving Ukrainian refugees.
Amid worsening overcrowding at the transit centre at the Citywest hotel complex in Dublin, new arrivals who do not have alternative accommodation already arranged are being asked to remain at Dublin Airport overnight and into Thursday.
Ireland has taken in around 40,000 refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine – the majority of them women and children.
Asylum seekers from other countries also continue to seek sanctuary in Ireland through the International Protection Service.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin is to hold talks with other ministers on Thursday to discuss the situation as the Government attempts to put alternative accommodation arrangements in place.
“Ensuring the security, health and safety of people who are fleeing Ukraine has been, and remains, a top priority for the Government since the Russian attack began in February,” a Government statement said.
“Most of the people arriving in Ireland are women and children.
“This effort has involved, inter alia, all relevant Government departments and offices, local authorities, the Defence Forces and state agencies such as Tusla (Child and Family Agency) and the HSE (Health Service Executive).
“Over the past number of weeks there has been a very significant increase in the number of people seeking access to the International Protection Service (IPS) and this is causing a severe shortage of available accommodation for both people arriving from Ukraine and international protection applicants.
“This is also causing overcrowding in the Citywest Transit Hub.
“Incoming arrivals overnight will remain in Dublin Airport if they do not have an alternative source of accommodation.
“Government is working intensively to put alternative arrangements in place with immediate effect.
“The Taoiseach is meeting with relevant ministers tomorrow to discuss the situation and review the current policies and processes.”