Two-thirds of hotels contacted yet to renew contracts to host refugees

Timeline for rolling out modular accommodation for refugees has been ‘recalibrated’

Almost two-thirds of hotels contacted about renewing contracts to host refugees have yet to sign new deals.

With a significant shortfall of hotel beds predicted when the tourist season kicks off in March, the Department of Integration has been writing to hotels whose contracts for hosting refugees were due to expire in December and January. Of the 141 accommodation providers contacted by the department whose contracts are expiring, only 51 have agreed to extend so far. A further 29 have raised queries which the department says are “being addressed”.

The department said that despite the low take-up of extensions, no accommodation provider has yet said it is not renewing. People housed in the hotels remain there while the contracting process is under way.

The 141 provide 8,400 beds overall. Hotels and other forms of serviced accommodation are home to around 46,000 beneficiaries of temporary protection (BOTP) – the status afforded to those fleeing the war in Ukraine under an EU-wide scheme introduced following the Russian invasion last February.


The hotels are being asked to sign up to a new contract that stipulates refugees must pay €10 per day for meals for adults and €5 for children, as well as pay for ancillary services like washing which had been provided for free.

While hotels have benefited from State contracts, Government sources believe they may be less attractive as the tourism trade has recovered from the pandemic. They also believe hoteliers are facing a push from locals in tourism-reliant areas to provide beds for visitors and also fear being too publicly associated with refugee accommodation.

Minister of State for Integration Joe O’Brien told RTÉ's Morning Ireland on Thursday that the State is “too reliant” on private providers, many of whom are expected to revert to the tourist trade in the weeks ahead. He said the Government was going to be “upping our efforts” to acquire more properties rather than being “reliant on private provision persistently into this year”.

Separately, the department has confirmed that the timeline for rolling out modular accommodation for refugees – seen as an important part of shifting the focus of the response away from serviced accommodation like hotels – has been “recalibrated”.

It had originally been intended that people would move into the first phase of the accommodation late last year, but the department said that the timeframe was “recalibrated in the light of the experience to date with evaluation and assessment of the suitability of sites, engagement with representatives of communities located adjacent to sites and the timescale for the manufacture of the homes required”.

The department said the first phase “will be in place by March 2023″.

Anti-immigration protesters caused traffic disruption in parts of Dublin and Co Cork on Thursday evening, with gardaí saying roads were blocked despite the small numbers turning out for the demonstrations.

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones

Jack Horgan-Jones is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times

Conor Lally

Conor Lally

Conor Lally is Security and Crime Editor of The Irish Times