Government to lose access to 800 hotel rooms for emergency accommodation this week

Government to lose access to 800 hotel rooms for emergency accommodation this week

Emergency accommodation supply is set to be further constricted with the loss of access to hotel rooms. Picture: Sam Boal/

The Government expects to lose access to some 800 hotel rooms this week, further constricting emergency accommodation supply as more than 400 international protection applicants are already homeless.

Integration Minister Roderic O’Gorman said that he "regrettably" expects to see the number of people seeking international protection who are homeless rise further.

“We are facing a particularly difficult week this week in terms of the loss of hotel accommodation," he said.

“So, we are working hard to support and particularly to ensure that families are accommodated. But it's going to remain challenging in the weeks and months ahead.

“We would expect to lose in and around 800 hotel rooms this week.

“We've taken very extensive contingency measures, we've been able to open additional accommodation, and we'll be opening more additional accommodation around the country.

“The fact that, obviously, international protection applicants continue to arrive does pose real pressures on the department right now,” he said.

The minister said authorities are under pressure in terms of their ability to secure accommodation for international protection applicants.

He said that is despite very significant efforts "by my party, by my departments, and, indeed, the support we've gotten from other departments".

Mr O'Gorman's department confirmed to the Irish Examiner that more than 400 international protection applicants are now without State-provided accommodation.

Homeless in a foreign country

The health of some people fleeing war and persecution in Ireland is suffering while they try to cope with being homeless in a foreign country.

A teenage Afghan boy, who is in direct provision in Limerick, is campaigning with Doras refugee and migrant rights group, to have his 20-year-old brother transferred to a bed that is currently available in his room.

Waqas’ brother has been homeless since he arrived in Ireland from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan on February 16.

His health is suffering from living on the streets and Waqas is extremely concerned for his safety.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth said that the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) facilitates family request transfers “as appropriate and where possible".

“This is more difficult in the current context of extremely limited available accommodation where IPAS accommodation is at full capacity,” a departmental spokesperson said.

“In the current circumstances where there are over 400 people who remain unaccommodated due to the current shortage of IPAS accommodation places, IPAS is currently contacting people to offer them accommodation and are operating a strict queueing system in chronological order of arrival date to ensure fairness.”

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