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‘A lot of pressure’ over asylum seekers accommodation

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said there is “no doubt” that there will be a need for both state and private accommodation into the future for international protection applicants.

His comments come as a memo is due to be brought to Cabinet in the coming weeks regarding the provision of additional state owned accommodation.

He said Minister for Integration Roderic O’Gorman is preparing plans on this as he revealed how more capacity is needed given the numbers who have come here and continue to.

Mr Martin said there were 13,000 applications for asylum in Ireland last year, which is nearly a five-fold increase since 2019.

He said that was separate to the number of Ukrainians fleeing here from war.

“Fundamentally we are under a lot of pressure,” he said as he highlighted how migration is a major global issue with people having to leave desperate situations.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, he said any space in capacity will be used for people coming in who currently cannot get accommodation.

He said the department liaises closely with homeless services and they are confident that those who are arriving in who are not being provided with accommodation are finding places to stay.

Meanwhile, Minister Simon Coveney has said that the Government needs to do better in communicating the facts to communities regarding Ireland’s international asylum protection process.

Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week In Politics, he said that the Government accepts that their communication needs to improve and to reach out “in a more successful way” to local communities to address “the myths” being spread.

“We have to be careful we don’t dismiss all concerns, frustrations and anger of far right leaning people,” he added and said there are a lot of genuine people concerned about people coming into their communities.

The Minister also said that more assistance will be given to communities who have “taken a significant share of the burden” in terms of accommodating a large number of asylum seekers and refugees.

He said that is already under way and explained that the Taoiseach has asked a series of ministers to look at what can be done to give support and services to these counties.

Govt ‘making it up’

Speaking on the same programme, Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy said that the Government has been “making it up” as it goes along as he criticised a lack of strategy.

Aontú leader Peadar Toibin said that the Government has failed on its promises and blamed “government incompetency” for creating a lot of the problems.

He also criticised the Government for not enforcing deportation orders.

In defence, Minister Coveney said when a deportation order is given, most people leave voluntarily.

People Before Profit-Solidarity TD Bríd Smith expressed concern about the arson attacks happening in places that are due to host asylum seekers and the fear that it is becoming “normalised”.

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