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Over 30,000 Ukrainian refugees now in Ireland as arrivals rise again to nearly 260 a day

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As of this week, the total number of arrivals from Ukraine was 30,343 . Photo: Jeff J Mitchell

As of this week, the total number of arrivals from Ukraine was 30,343 . Photo: Jeff J Mitchell

As of this week, the total number of arrivals from Ukraine was 30,343 . Photo: Jeff J Mitchell

The number of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland has increased after an Easter lull, blamed on the number of holidaymakers taking up seats on flights.

The seven-day average of arrivals into Ireland is now 259 a day, having increased within the last week from 229 daily.

As of this week, the total number of arrivals from Ukraine was 30,343 with more than two-thirds (21,277) having sought accommodation from the State.

As of today, more than 18,000 people are being accommodated through State-provided accommodation.

Arrivals have ranged between 90 on May 13 and a new highest daily figure of 421 a week ago (Wednesday, May 11).

The assumptions now are for 250 arrivals per day for the coming period, even though the Ukrainian armed forces have pushed the Russian invaders out of the Kyiv and Kharkiv regions and stalled their offensive in the Donbas.

A Government spokesman was unable to say how many, if any, might have returned to Ukraine from Ireland.

But ministers expect that by the end of June, between 31,000 and 33,000 people will have sought accommodation, with a minimum of 86pc of arrivals doing so. Meanwhile, serviced and emergency accommodation is currently at 80pc capacity, meaning that the Government will have little room for manoeuvre if the increase in arrivals is maintained through the summer.

“There should be no shortage of accommodation by the end of June. However, all accommodation types will be nearing capacity,” a spokesman said.

“Numbers arriving fell significantly over the Easter holidays but have started to climb again.”

More than 25,000 pledges made to the Irish Red Cross have resulted in approximately 3,000 vacant properties and 6,000 shared properties being progressed for refugees.

Just over 900 persons have been placed in 313 properties nationwide to date, meaning the pledges are taking time to activate – which means people moving in.

The Department of Housing has been working on the refurbishment of vacant buildings for temporary use – with 500 identified and 89 almost ready for occupation. Work is under way to assess the remaining buildings.

A clearing house is, meanwhile, being established by the department to activate housing that already has planning permission.

Revenue records indicate that about 7pc of refugees have taken up employment, although the vast majority are women with dependent children.

Nonetheless, 1,994 individuals have acquired a job.

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An estimated 4,000 refugee children are now enrolled in primary schools and 1,900 at secondary level here. Child benefit is being paid for 10,242 children, meaning half are below school age or have yet to be placed in education.

More than 16,000 medical cards have been issued.

Meanwhile, a Dáil committee was told yesterday how Ukrainian refugees are being housed “in Ireland’s beauty spots and seasonal hotels” while tourist hotspots are struggling for capacity.

Cathal Crowe, a Fianna Fáil TD for Clare, made a highly charged intervention to warn that his county was struggling to provide all the necessary services to Ukrainian refugees. He told the Oireachtas committee that 2pc of the population in the county is now Ukrainian.

“This cannot all be funnelled through Ireland’s beauty spots and seasonal hotels. No one is looking at the ancillary services that these people require, the pastoral care, the support.

“It won’t haunt us now but it will haunt us in the months ahead.

“We need a more holistic, nationwide response,” he told TDs and senators.


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