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512 asylum seekers without State accommodation

There are now 512 recently arrived asylum seekers who have not been offered any State accommodation, according to the latest figures from the Department of Integration.

That is 55 more international protection applicants left without shelter since Friday and 136 more since this day last week.

All the asylum seekers who have not been offered accommodation when they presented seeking international protection are men.

The department stopped offering accommodation to all asylum seekers on 4 December amid a “nationwide shortage”.

There have been a number of recent protests at properties that were intended to be used to house male asylum seekers and gardaí are investigating suspected arson at the Ross Lake House hotel in Rosscahill, Co Galway, in December, which was among them.

To date women and children seeking international protection have been accommodated, however yesterday, the Department said that there is now also “an acute shortage of accommodation for families and children.”

This is the second time in twelve months that the Government has ceased offering accommodation to all eligible asylum seekers when they present seeking international protection, due to a shortage of available places.

Last year between 24 January and 15 June, a total of 1,542 asylum seekers were not initially offered accommodation when they first presented.

However the numbers being left without shelter are climbing much more steeply this time around, reaching 500 in little over a month.

It took almost four months for the number of international protection applicants left without shelter to reach more that 500 last year, a number described by the UN Refugee Agency as a “grim milestone”.

Since 4 December, 659 new male international protection applicants have presented to the International Protection Office.

Of those, 80 were accommodated following what the Department described as an “availability and vulnerability triage”.

A further 67 who were initially not offered any accommodation were subsequently offered a space, with just one person offered a place since Friday.

Read more: Dept ‘engaging’ with Mayo hotel over plan to house asylum seekers

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