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Refugees from Afghanistan may live with family or friends in Ireland

Emergency response

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Safe: People who were evacuated from Kabul wave from inside the Indo-Tibetan Border Police bus as it leaves the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad, India

Safe: People who were evacuated from Kabul wave from inside the Indo-Tibetan Border Police bus as it leaves the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad, India

Safe: People who were evacuated from Kabul wave from inside the Indo-Tibetan Border Police bus as it leaves the Hindon Air Force Station in Ghaziabad, India

Refugees from Afghanistan might be housed in Emergency Reception and Orientation Centres (EROC) or live with friends or family or through local community sponsorship under options being considered by the Government. 

The Irish Independent understands officials have also been in touch with charities and other bodies to find out how much accommodation is available.

There are three EROCs, with a total capacity of 375 places, in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon, the Hazel Hotel in Monasterevin, Co Kildare, and Clonea Strand in Dungarvan, Co Waterford.

Up to 195 people will be able to come in to Ireland from Afghanistan – 150 refugees and 45 people who will be granted visas and will have their applications assessed on arrival.

Refugees will not go in to direct provision as they will have already been granted refugee status under humanitarian grounds by Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman.

Women will be prioritised, as well as members of the LGBT community, those working on the frontline and human rights defenders.

They will be brought here on chartered flights, and the Government is seeking help from other EU member states, Mr O’Gorman told RTÉ radio.

Refugees will have to undergo hotel quarantine on arrival and be processed through the Irish Refugee Protection programme.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has already identified the people who will be brought here. These people will be able to travel with their families.

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“We have a number of these orientation centres around the country and they proved very successful, particularly at the moment they’re used in terms of Syrian refugees who are coming from Lebanon, Jordan and Greece as well,” Mr O’Gorman said.

Separately, the Government has declined to specify how long it believes it will take to evacuate Irish citizens from Afghanistan.

On Monday, an Irish woman in Kabul told the PA news agency she believed she might be able to leave the Taliban-controlled city within 48 hours.

Asked if the Government was working to the same two-day timeline, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs declined to answer directly.

“The embassy in Abu Dhabi is in direct and ongoing contact with Irish citizens who remain in Afghanistan and are known to us or, in a small number of cases, with the organisations with which they work,” the spokesperson said.

“We are working closely with other EU member states, most of whom also have citizens in the country, with regards to options for repatriation flights.

“There are no commercial flights in operation, we understand.

“The department is not in a position to disclose the details of Irish citizens in Afghanistan.”

On Monday, Aoife Mac- Manus, from Ashbourne, Co Meath, said she believed Kabul Airport would be operating fully in 48 hours.

Ms MacManus has been in the Afghan capital for two years, working in the primary education sector. She was one of the small number of Irish citizens still in Afghanistan and trying to flee from the Taliban.

On Monday, Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said his department was working to get 15 Irish nationals out of Afghanistan.


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