€50m fund will ‘reward’ communities that take in Ukrainian refugees - Minister

Heather Humphreys also played down suggestions of tensions within the Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green Party coalition

The Government will use a €50 million fund to “reward” communities that have taken in a significant number of refugees from Ukraine, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys has said.

Ministers agreed to develop the fund at a special incorporeal Cabinet meeting on Friday as part of the response to the refugee crisis.

Some parts of the country, particularly some rural counties, have taken in large numbers of refugees.

The new fund to be developed by Ms Humphrey’s Department, and the Department of Housing, is aimed at recognising the contribution of communities and ensuring that levels of access to public services are maintained and expanded.


Ms Humphreys did not offer a date for when the fund will be in place, nor did she offer many specifics on what it will be used for.

She said work is taking place on how it will be designed and added: “We want to reward communities that have taken in quite a number of Ukrainians into their area.”

She said: “Perhaps we can help them with the community centers and enhancing the facilities that they have.

“We’re working on the details on that, but the aim is to support those communities who have supported others in that time of need.”

Speaking to reporters in Dublin, she played down suggestions of tensions within the Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green Party coalition.

The Irish Examiner reported that some in Fianna Fáil are concerned that their ministers have been attacked by Fine Gael and Green Party members and that the matter was raised at a private party meeting.

Ms Humphreys, a Fine Gael minister, insisted the Government is “working well”.

She said: “Micheál Martin is doing a good job as Taoiseach.

“We have dealt with a number of different crisis... We have had the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and now we’re facing a cost-of-living crisis for people... We have taken measures to help alleviate the cost of living. We’re putting money back in people’s pockets.

“As far as I’m concerned I get on well with my government colleagues across across both parties Fianna Fáil and the Green Party and our focus is on helping people during this difficult time.”

She said she would not speculate on what happened at the Fianna Fáil meeting saying: “I wasn’t there”.

Ms Humphreys added: “I think to be fair, the man in the street is more interested in what we’re going to do to support them between now and Christmas in terms of dealing with the increased cost of living.”

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times