Ireland shelters over 15,000 refugees since the war began

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Ireland has sheltered over 15,000 refugees since the beginning of the war, with emergency accommodation expected to run out within weeks.

However, the number of arrivals is significantly down on forecasts last week from Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who said it could be up to 20,000 people.

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Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said the number of displaced people from Ukraine into Europe rises ” steadily ” after a “slight dip.”

“The figures themselves, I think, while we saw a slight dip during the week in terms of the daily numbers, they have started to increase again steadily,” she said.

“Our focus is making sure that the people who do arrive here, that we’ve accommodation for them, that we can get them their temporary protection letter, that they have their PPSN number, and that they have as much support as they need.”

The Cabinet has been told that tents, prefabs, and emergency dormitory-style units will have to be used to house refugees arriving in the State within weeks because emergency accommodation will be used up.

The Government has worked to identify more significant empty properties such as churches, private entities, and commercial premises for conversion into semi-permanent or permanent accommodation.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said 500 “significant” properties had been identified so far for possible use.

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They would be refurbishments. A lot of what we are going to be doing is taking old commercial stock and old state stock and converting that into apartments or homes.

He said “nothing was off the table” to meet the need for emergency accommodation, with modular homes also a consideration.

It is understood that the bill for providing accommodation, health, and education to refugees could reach €1.7 billion this year.

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