Taoiseach: Ukrainian crisis is ‘proving challenging’

Speaking in Carrigtwohill on Monday, the Taoiseach said that the war in Ukraine has created the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Taoiseach: Ukrainian crisis is ‘proving challenging’

An Taoiseach Micheal Martin TD, speaking during his visit to St Aloysius' College, Carrigtwohill, Co Cork. Picture: David Keane.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that the government will do everything it can to help house those arriving into Ireland who have fled the war in Ukraine, but added that it is a humanitarian crisis that is “proving challenging”.

His comments come as Cork County Council are appealing for those with unoccupied properties across the County to offer them as temporary homes for those fleeing war in Ukraine.

Speaking in Carrigtwohill on Monday, the Taoiseach said that the war in Ukraine has created the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II.

“This is all a function of a war, we are in a war time situation, so it’s not normal that we would have so many, many people fleeing war on the continent of Europe,” he said.

“I think Ireland has responded in an unprecedented way, but it is proving challenging,” he said, adding that the government is developing short term and medium term rapid build housing for Ukrainians, as well as reconfiguring other buildings as accommodation.

As part of a new government initiative, Cork County Council are also appealing to owners of unoccupied houses, apartments or holiday homes to house Ukrainian people and families.

Cork County Council have said: “Under this programme, local authorities are seeking offers of stand-alone properties that are not occupied by others and have their own entrance door and all the main facilities required for independent living. This is not a call for properties that would be shared with the owner or others. Pledges of shared accommodation may be made via the Irish Red Cross.” From December 1, those offering up their uninhabited homes to refugees arriving from Ukraine be able to avail of a tax-free recognition payment of €800 per month.

Appealing to the people of Cork County to offer unused properties, Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said: “Irish people have shown incredible support for the people of Ukraine. We know that people are very anxious to help where they can so we’re appealing to anybody who has a house, apartment, or holiday home that they’re not using at the moment to consider offering it to those who need shelter and safety from war.” Under the new programme, Cork County Council will liaise with owners to assess suitability and arrange for their use by Ukrainian people and families.

Those who offer a property can expect to be contacted by Cork County Council within 5 working days of making their offer and an assessment of the property will be carried out by the Council shortly after.

The assessment is to ensure the property is habitable and to get some details so it can be matched to the most appropriate person or family.

“We understand that it can be daunting to offer a property to someone you don’t know. That is why Cork County Council will work with you throughout the process and be there to offer support while your property is being used. If you have a property that is otherwise going to be empty this Winter, please consider offering it for those who badly need a safe home for a while,” the Chief Executive of Cork County Council reassures homeowners.

This call to homeowners comes as a high percentage of those fleeing conflict in Ukraine are currently residing in hotels and B&Bs.

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