Some families hosting Ukrainian refugees reporting financial challenges, Dáil told

Louth TD says people do not regret helping but face rising costs with no State support

Refugees from Ukraine wait at the border crossing in Medyka in southeast Poland. More than 4.2 million people have fled the country since the Russian invasion, the UN says. Photograph: Wojtek Radwanski/AFP via Getty Images

Some families who have taken in Ukrainian refugees are finding it “difficult and financially challenging”, the Dáil has heard.

Independent TD Peter Fitzpatrick said he had been contacted recently by families hosting people fleeing the Russian invasion.

Some feel “isolated with no support” and are receiving “very little if any contact from the relevant Government departments”, he said.

The Louth TD said families were not "looking for profit" but instead are "simply looking for support for the extra costs they have incurred".


Speaking during Leader's Questions on Wednesday, Mr Fitzpatrick said it was important to note that the families who contacted him did not "for one minute" regret their decision to take in refugees, but did outline the difficulties they were facing.

“They are finding it difficult and financially challenging,”he said. “They have increased energy and food bills and on top of this they have massive hikes in energy prices, yet when they look for support and assistance from the departments they feel they are being ignored.”

Left isolated

Mr Fitzpatrick said hotels and B&Bs were being paid to house refugees while people who “opened their homes” were not getting any supports.

“This is wrong and must be addressed,” he added. “It is wrong that these people are left isolated without any support or assistances. They were good enough to open their homes at a time of great need but now they feel ignored.”

In response, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said more than 19,000 people had arrived from Ukraine to date, with around 11,800 needing accommodation.

Mr Martin said the State had never had to respond "so quickly" to a refugee crisis before with up to 2,000 children in Irish schools.

“This is war time, this is something we never thought we would experience and therefore we’ve been focusing in the initial phase on the accommodation situation. We’ve much more to do,” he said.

“We’re under pressure in terms of accommodation. We have to get through all the pledges. We have significant work under way.”

Mr Martin said community response forums were being established in each local authority area to coordinate local responses to the crisis.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times