Ukrainian refugees placed in emergency centers as hotel space runs out
Ukrainian refugees are being placed in emergency accommodation as space in hotels runs out, Cabinet ministers will be warned today.
Just under 25,000 Ukrainians have now arrived in Ireland, 85% of whom are women and children.
The Cabinet was notified last week that government contracts with some hotels were due to expire at Easter – with 90% to 95% of refugees arriving in the coming weeks to be accommodated in emergency accommodation.
Ministers were informed that accommodation would include cots in parish halls, military barracks and other public buildings.
Irish weather reports that around 300 people arriving this week will be accommodated at the Millstreet Arena in Cork.
Over the weekend, dozens of refugees housed in an emergency center in Banteer in County Cork fell ill with a vomiting bug.
The Cabinet will also be briefed on the situation on the ground in Ukraine, where Russian troops launched a new offensive in the east this week.
Foreign Secretary Simon Coveney last night addressed the UN Security Councilcalling on Moscow to agree to an immediate ceasefire.
He told member nations what he saw during a visit to the town of Bucha near kyiv last week was “deeply shocking”.
“While I was there there were, I think, 503 bodies that were taken out of mass graves,” he said.
“There were only four soldiers. The others were men, women and children who were not combatants but many of whom were tortured, brutalized, some raped and killed.
“So I think these images speak for themselves.”
He told the council that Ireland would continue to do everything possible to help those fleeing the violence.
“Any Ukrainian fleeing conflict can come to Ireland and indeed any EU country and will be treated, effectively, as an EU citizen in terms of health, education and of course housing. , which is a huge challenge for a small country like Ireland.
“But you know, Irish people open their homes and we are committed to making our home their home for as long as necessary.”
Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry says it has hit more than 1,200 targets as it launches its new attack on the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine.
There was heavy fighting spread across a 500km front – with the town of Kreminna seized by Russian forces yesterday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is calling on Western nations to send more weapons to Ukraine – noting that if his troops had weapons “comparable” to those used by Russia then the war would already be over.
“We would have restored peace and liberated our territory from the occupiers because the superiority of the Ukrainian army in tactics and wisdom is quite obvious,” he said.
The UK Ministry of Defense said Ukrainian forces were continuing to repel attacks – noting that the Russian advance continued to be affected by “logistical and technical challenges” as well as the “resilience of the highly motivated Ukrainian Armed Forces”. .
The main image is a stock photo of people waiting for a train at Lviv’s main station. Image: Mykola Tys / Alamy Stock Photo