Number of homeless asylum seekers in State rises to 1,620

Average of 59 people seeking asylum arrived each day during last week of March, almost one third of them children

More than 90 men who arrived in Ireland seeking asylum since Tuesday of this week are now homeless, bringing to 1,620 the total number of homeless international protection applicants in the State.

The latest figures from the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS), which are published on Tuesdays and Fridays, reveal the number of homeless asylum seekers increased by five per cent over three days, rising from 1,529 on Tuesday to 1,620 on Friday.

Some 2,271 men have sought asylum in Ireland since December 4th when IPAS announced it could no longer offer accommodation to all asylum seekers due to severe shortages. Of these, 239 received accommodation following a vulnerability assessment, while another 412 were subsequently offered a place to live.

International protection applicants who do secure accommodation receive a temporary increase of €75 to their daily expense allowance, increasing the weekly rate from €38.80 to €113.80 for those who are homeless.


It is understood some women and children seeking asylum are now being housed with Ukrainian refugees due to the ongoing accommodation shortage and to avoid making the most vulnerable homeless. Department of Integration officials have also indicated that new accommodation sources are in “line of sight” and should become available in the coming weeks.

However, while no women or children are currently homeless, it is understood there are serious concerns within the department that they could end up on the streets within a fortnight if extra housing capacity is not secured.

Meanwhile, the makeshift camp on Dublin’s Mount Street outside the International Protection Office continues to grow, with reports that conditions in the area have deteriorate “drastically” in recent months.

In a letter to The Irish Times, residents from the surrounding streets wrote that “litter, food waste, piles of rubbish, sleeping bags and discarded tents are constantly blown around our street and into our doorways”, noise levels make it difficult to sleep at night and that the authorities are offering no assistance.

An average of 59 asylum seekers arrived in Ireland each day during the last week of March, with children representing nearly one third of those seeking asylum. The vast majority of those who arrived last week were Nigerian, with smaller numbers coming from Palestine, Jordan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A total of 28,478 international protection applicants, including 6,755 children, are staying in 278 centres across the country. Some 452 of these have been placed in State-run tented accommodation, although no children are in tents.

Nigerians represent the biggest cohort of residents within the direct provision system, followed by Georgians, Algerians, Somalis, Zimbabweans and Afghans.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast