Wednesday 13 December 2017

Caring for thousands will be a huge logistics challenge

Irish Red Cross workers, Gina O'Dwyer, Emily Guilfoyle and Ruth Mahon, at the launch of the new Irish Red Cross hotline number for resettlement services for refugees
Irish Red Cross workers, Gina O'Dwyer, Emily Guilfoyle and Ruth Mahon, at the launch of the new Irish Red Cross hotline number for resettlement services for refugees
John Downing

John Downing

A former dance venue in Co Kildare will become the first port of call for many of the 4,000 refugees to be taken by Ireland.

The Hazel Hotel, in Monasterevin, already houses a small number of refugees who arrived there last month and has the potential to accommodate several hundred people. Officials signalled last night that it is likely to be the first of a number of reception and orientation centres to be opened up in the coming weeks.

The Government task force of departments and agencies, backed up by other groups such as the Irish Red Cross, began work yesterday ahead of a first meeting next Tuesday. The task force will work through the huge logistical task of accommodating the refugees, most of whom are expected to be here by the end of the year.

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