Almost 14,500 housing offers for Ukrainian refugees – Irish Red Cross

Dublin hotel suspends appeal for clothing and toiletries after ‘overwhelming’ response

There have been almost 14,500 pledges of accommodation from Irish people to Ukrainian refugees, the Irish Red Cross has said.

Last week, the charity opened an online portal to allow members of the public to offer up their homes for people fleeing the war in Ukraine, following Russia's invasion.

By Friday evening, 13,905 people had registered through the portal. However, an additional 5,000 pledges were also made through various other pipelines, including other charities. This is compared with 180 pledges last Friday.

Liam O’Dwyer, secretary general of the organisation, said the generosity of the Irish people has been amazing.

When the Red Cross previously sought pledges for accommodation for refugees from Syria, there were 1,000 offers.

“We’re taken aback by it. We’ve never seen anything like it. It struck a chord with a lot of people,” he said.

About 20 per cent of accommodation pledges are located in Dublin, 12 per cent in Cork, with the rest spread widely around the country, he said.

Early statistics suggest about 30 per cent of the pledged accommodation is “standalone”, which are homes and apartments that won’t be shared with other people.

The remaining 70 per cent is shared accommodation, which ranges from one room to several rooms within a house.

“It’s a huge offer to share your living space. People really have been touched by the idea of women and children leaving their home country, and many leaving their partners or other family members behind,” Mr O’Dwyer added.

The huge volume of offers is being processed by a team of volunteers who will telephone to acknowledge each pledge and this will take time, he said.

The refugees are currently arriving into emergency accommodation such as hotels or reception centres. Then, when the pledges have been organised, the Irish Red Cross will match them with a family.

They hope to begin to move the refugees into the homes by the end of the month, he said.

“People will be in the emergency accommodation for a while while we organise the pledges. We would encourage people to be patient because it will take time to process this,” he added.

Meanwhile, a hotel in Dublin housing Ukrainian refugees had to suspend an appeal for clothing and toiletries after it was “overwhelmed” by the public response.

The Red Cow Moran hotel, on the Naas Road in Dublin 22, issued a public appeal for clothes, underwear, shoes, toiletries, period products and children’s toys after more than 300 Ukrainian refugees arrived at the facility.

In an update posted on social media on Friday afternoon, the hotel issued a “heartfelt thanks to all for the donations”.

“The response to our clothing/toiletry appeal has been overwhelming. We need time to process what we have so please hold off on any further donations for the time being,” the statement said.

“Once we know what is still required we will send out an appeal for same. Thank you.”