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Homelessness crisis facing refugees is ‘grave’
Homelessness in Dublin city centre Pic: RollingNews.ie

27 Mar 2023 / ireland Print

Refugee homelessness is  ‘grave and deteriorating’

The Irish Refugee Council has said that it provided support to 11,000 people last year – a dramatic increase from the figure of 3,000 recorded in 2021.

Its 2022 Impact Report shows that its helplines received 24,000 calls – an increase of 60% compared with 2021 – and received 5,000 queries by email.

The council says that the record figures reflect the “increasing needs” of the increased number of people seeking protection in Ireland.

‘Grave’ situation

It adds, however, that its report is being published in the context of “a further deterioration in the rights of people seeking protection in early 2023”, with more than 355 people currently homeless and without accommodation.

Nick Henderson (chief executive of the Irish Refugee Council) described the accommodation crisis as “a grave and deteriorating situation” that required all-of-Government attention.

“We acknowledge the challenges faced by the Government, but it does not remove the legal obligation to provide accommodation to international protection applicants, which the State has been in violation of for over two months now,” he said.

'Darker reality'

“The continuous deterioration of standards in reception centres, homelessness, and the far-right rise present a darker reality for people seeking protection as we journey through 2023,” Henderson stated.

The council has repeated calls it made last October for a robust communication plan, and investments towards supporting the transition from Direct Provision.

It also wants the Government to appoint a refugee response director, and an inspector of emergency, transit and tent accommodation.

Gazette Desk
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