Archbishop Eamon Martin has urged people who pledged accommodation to refugees from Ukraine through the Red Cross, but have not yet been contacted, to “recontact” the Red Cross.
His comment on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland follows an admission by Liam O'Dwyer, secretary general of the Irish Red Cross, that they have not been able to contact 44 per cent of the people who made pledges.
Mr Dwyer had said that everyone that they can contact will have been contacted by the end of Friday.
Archbishop Martin said there had been great goodwill from the people of Ireland and that an appeal through churches had raised €3.5 million in one week which will be channelled to the Catholic relief organisation Caritas which is working in Ukraine.
Former retreat centres and other religious buildings will also be made available to provide accommodation, he said with “30 to 40” religious congregations offering rooms.
In some cases the buildings “may need a bit of work” but that people had been offering their services. It also might not be appropriate for shared accommodation to be offered in parochial houses, but in some circumstances priests had moved out to share with other clergy to make accommodation available.
When the war broke out Archbishop Martin made contact with his Ukrainian counterparts to ask what could he do, they asked for prayers and financial help and for the people of Ireland to be “good to our people” when refugees arrive.
In situations where it was not possible to offer accommodation, parish facilities were being made available to offer locations where refugees could congregate together to provide support and share information, he said.