Ireland

Ireland runs out of accommodation for international protection applicants

Tents belonging to homeless people on the banks of the Royal Canal near Dublin’s city centre (File/PA)
Tents belonging to homeless people on the banks of the Royal Canal near Dublin’s city centre (File/PA) Tents belonging to homeless people on the banks of the Royal Canal near Dublin’s city centre (File/PA)

Ireland has run out of state accommodation for people arriving into the country seeking international protection.

The department for integration confirmed on Monday it was not in a position to provide a bed for all applicants due to a “severe shortage” of accommodation.

Women and child applicants will continue to be accommodated.

Those male applicants without accommodation can still access services at drop-in centres, including showers, hot food and laundry.

They will also be provided tents and sleeping bags, if required.

The department, which blamed issues beyond its control, highlighted that Ireland is currently accommodating more than 100,000 people between Ukrainian refugees and international protection (IP) applicants.

Department of Children’s Growing Up In Ireland report
Department of Children’s Growing Up In Ireland report Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman (PA).

“This includes over 74,000 Ukrainian people who have sought accommodation from the state and nearly 26,000 IP applicants currently in International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) accommodation,” said a department spokesman.

“Despite intensive efforts to source emergency accommodation, the department is currently not in a position to provide accommodation to all international protection applicants due to the severe shortage.

“Department officials are working to bring more bed spaces into use, and since January 2022 have brought over 10,000 bed spaces into use to accommodate those who arrive in Ireland seeking international protection (IP).

“Various issues beyond the control of the department have resulted in offers not being progressed, and accommodation not contracted, swiftly enough to meet the demand.”

The spokesman added: “Drop-in day services will be available to unaccommodated IP applicants who wish to avail of them.

“In such centres, IP applicants can access facilities including hot showers, meals and laundry services seven days a week.

“They also provide tents and sleeping bags, where required.

“Currently this department has agreements with two charities to provide these services in Dublin in the event that they are needed.

“All unaccommodated IP applicants will be provided with the contact details for IPAS and with information on accessing health and other public services in Ireland.

“The department will work closely with the HSE to ensure that health services are provided to all those in need.

“All IP applicants who present to the International Protection Office (IPO) during an unaccommodated period will be assessed by IPAS and HSE staff for significant vulnerabilities and health issues, and prioritised for accommodation as necessary.”