Thursday, January 19, 2023

Vivienne Clarke

The refugee processing centre at Citywest in Dublin is likely to close for new arrivals within a matter of days, the Minister for Integration has warned.

“There is a very real risk that we won’t be able to accommodate everyone,” Roderic O’Gorman told RTÉ Radio’s News at One. Families and vulnerable people will be prioritised but there are “difficult weeks ahead,” he added.

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to secure new accommodation” to meet the needs of new arrivals, Mr O’Gorman explained and said it is hard to “get line of sight” for further potential accommodation.

It will be mid-February before more accommodation becomes available, the Minister said, while 200 modular units will provide 800 additional beds at Easter.

The closure of the facility in Citywest in the next few days will be the third time the centre has been forces to stop taking in new arrivals.

Previous closures were for short periods of time, but on this occasion it “could be for a longer period”, Mr O’Gorman warned, possibly a number of weeks.

There was a small facility at Dublin Airport where people could stay overnight if they arrived on a late flight, the Minister explained, however he said it was not a longterm facility.

With the closure of the Citywest centre there was “a very real risk” the State could not accommodate all arrivals, Mr O’Gorman said.

Asked about hotels providing longterm accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, Mr O’Gorman said a “significant number” had signed new ‘bed only’ contracts, while the number that had “very clearly indicated no” was “quite small”.

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