Ministers frustrated at delays in approving accommodation for Ukrainian refugees — Ryan

‘Vetting process seems to be over-complicated and needs to be reviewed’

There is “a lot of frustration” among Government Ministers about bureaucratic hurdles that have led to delays in providing refugees and asylum seekers with adequate accommodation, the Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said.

Speaking on Monday ahead of a Cabinet sub-committee meeting on the Ukraine crisis, Mr Ryan said the current vetting process seemed to be over-complicated and needed to be reviewed. The detailed protocols relating to Garda vetting have meant that only 500 or so properties are being used to accommodate Ukrainian refugees out of several thousand which have been offered.

“There’s a lot of frustration within the Government about a system that seems to be very slow in terms of verifying and approving and there’s all sorts of complexities around that.

“Maybe there are people who are offered certain accommodation saying, well no, that’s not the type of accommodation I want.

So I think we will have to review that and make sure that it is speeded up, it’s much more flexible, it’s much quicker,” Mr Ryan added.

He was responding to questions about asylum seekers sleeping in conference rooms in Moran’s Red Cow Hotel over the past week, because of a lack of accommodation. However, Mr Ryan said the Government was facing an unprecedented challenge in dealing with the numbers of refugees and asylum seekers arriving into Ireland.

“Even with even if all those offers (of accommodation) came to fruition, it would still leave us with a really challenging situation on the numbers. That is the reality. We have to be honest about it,” he underlined.

Asked if the tented accommodation constructed by the Defence Forces in Gormanstown would be an option, he said Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman (who has Cabinet responsibility in this area) would have to look at all options.

Harry McGee

Harry McGee

Harry McGee is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times