Ireland will need at least four more large-scale temporary accommodation facilities for refugees and asylum seekers, the Minister for Integration Roderic O'Gorman has told cabinet colleagues.
The Cabinet sub-committee on Ukraine will meet on Tuesday to discuss increasing difficulties in finding accommodation for those fleeing war in Ukraine and those seeking international protection here.
It comes as a historic building in Dublin was set on fire last night amid social media rumours that it was due to become a centre for asylum seekers.
Rawlton House on Sherrard St, near Croke Park, was torched yesterday evening, but a spokesperson for the Department of Children and Integration told RTÉ News the building is not contracted by the department and has not been examined for use to accommodate refugees or international protection applicants.
"Local fire services quickly extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported. Investigations into this incident are ongoing," a Garda spokesman said.
Concerns have been raised within Government in recent days that protests and intimidation at refugee centres will make it more difficult to secure accommodation from the private sector.
Mr O'Gorman has told coalition leaders the country will need at least four large-scale buildings, to be sourced from other government departments, to manage the numbers coming through ports and airports in the coming weeks.
The international protection system has been under severe strain, with the Citywest centre, the only large-scale hub in the country, reaching capacity and no longer taking new applicants.
So far, 89 people have arrived in Ireland since last week and have been told there is no accommodation for them.
Mr O'Gorman made his appeal for large-scale buildings but has not specified any particular facilities. He is also seeking up to 75 more staff to help deal with ongoing problems facing the processing system.
Government sources said the difficulty in finding accommodation was particularly acute for international protection arrivals, with rooms more available for Ukrainian refugees.
While a number of contracts for hotels that currently house Ukrainians come to an end towards the end of March, some within Government believe that modular housing, refurbishments, vacant homes, and pledges of additional housing will be enough to bridge the gap.
Sources said that Mr O'Gorman's briefing papers for the subcommittee make clear the "critical and urgent" nature of the crisis in international protection but he did not raise the idea of time limits for financial support for Ukrainian refugees.
It is understood that idea will be discussed at today's meeting, but that any proposal will be for "down the line" and not kick in immediately.