Around 1,000 male asylum seekers without accommodation in Ireland

Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman said that women and families were being prioritised for accommodation.

Homeless in Ireland
Homeless in Ireland Tents belonging to homeless people on the banks of the Royal Canal near Dublin’s city centre (Brian Lawless/PA)

Around 1,000 male asylum seekers are without accommodation in Ireland.

Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman has said the number of people without an offer of accommodation is a “really concerning situation”, but that families and women seeking international protection were being prioritised for housing.

Ireland has struggled to house asylum seekers arriving in Ireland due to a lack of supply in its long-running housing crisis and a steep increase in the number of people arriving in Ireland seeking refuge.

It has moved to limit supports for arriving Ukrainian refugees in a move expected to limit the number of Ukrainians arriving in Ireland.

“Our focus in recent weeks has been to ensure that we can provide accommodation for female applicants and for family applicants,” Mr O’Gorman told reporters in Dublin on Friday.

“We are doing that, and it involves us sourcing additional accommodation on a weekly basis and we’re doing that and we’re able to meet those numbers at the moment.

“But it is tight, it is tight even in terms of the provision of accommodation for families and female applicants.”

He said that a proposal would be brought to Cabinet in the coming weeks that would put forward a “comprehensive accommodation strategy”.

Mr O’Gorman added that this would recognise the reform needed in the existing system and the need for a supply of State-owned accommodation in Ireland.

“So there is detailed discussions taking place across government right now and this is also of course linked to the review of the capital ceilings that are taking place at the moment.

“So I would hope in the next couple of weeks that we’ll be bringing this to Cabinet.”

He added: “We are very much focused on providing and bringing on additional accommodation because the needs are so significant because we have seen significant increases both in the last quarter of 2023 and in January.”

Mr O’Gorman said he has also consulted with local politicians about the use of the D Hotel in Drogheda, Co Louth to house asylum seekers.

He said that the hotel is still being considered for the “dual use” of housing asylum seekers for the State and remaining open for private business.

“In terms of the situation in Drogheda, I’ve engaged very extensively with the Louth TDs, I would have met them last week, during the week I met with the Drogheda chambers and the business district improvement scheme and yesterday I met with the nine councillors representing the urban and rural, local electoral area.

“We are looking at what our options are in terms specifically to D Hotel with regard to dual use. I know there is a challenge with that, particularly in terms of ensuring child protection requirements are met. The hotel themselves have raised issues, but my department are continuing to engage with them on the issue of dual use.”