Government TD calls for cap on Ukrainian refugees as capacity has been 'exceeded'

Government TD calls for cap on Ukrainian refugees as capacity has been 'exceeded'

Ukrainian refugees rest in a refuge room at Przemysl Glowny train station in Poland, after arriving by train from Ukraine to flee the Russian invasion.

A Government TD has said the Government should cap the number of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland adding that we have now "exceeded" capacity.

"There is no shame whatsoever in us as a county, and us as a country, in saying 'we have done everything we can'," Clare deputy Cathal Crowe told Clare FM.

"And we want to do more but right now capacity in terms of healthcare, transport, accommodation has not just been reached but exceeded," he added.

Mr Crowe said he was "hugely proud" of the work being done in Clare, where he said that the population is now 3% Ukrainians. 

He said the Government has reached a point where "it is not providing quality care" and that his home town of Meelick has people living in tents which is "not humane".

"There is no shame whatsoever in us as a county, and us as a country, in saying 'we have done everything we can'," Clare deputy Cathal Crowe told Clare FM. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins
"There is no shame whatsoever in us as a county, and us as a country, in saying 'we have done everything we can'," Clare deputy Cathal Crowe told Clare FM. Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

He said there should be a cap on the number of people arriving, at odds with the Government's own policy and EU law.

Mr Crowe said capping the number of arrivals is "a sensible position". He said there is "support fatigue" in Clare and fundraising support has "stopped".

"It can't just be about accommodation, there has to be health support and other supports," he said.

Mr Crowe said that IPAS had looked at "scenic, coastal west of Ireland" towns which are "not necessarily the right places for Ukrainians" due to the winter and the "wild Atlantic". 

He said that Ukrainian people are "100% welcome" but Ireland's licensing capacity for "high-quality care" has been reached.

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said that Michéal Martin "acknowledges and pays tribute to the people of county Clare, who have made exceptional efforts to welcome the people of Ukraine into their homes and communities" and that the people of Clare have "taken in more than other counties".

However, he said that Ireland has a moral and legal obligation to take in refugees.

"Ireland, EU countries, and our international partners are all working in solidarity to help people escaping the horrendous and illegal war by Russia.

"Ireland is playing its part under the temporary protective directive, which does not place a cap on the numbers we support.

"Government is aware of the challenges on services in Clare, and has allocated €50m to a community fund which will be allocated nationally, and will help address some of the service needs in the county."

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