By Michelle Devane, PA
About 100 Ukrainian refugees have been temporarily housed at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this week as the State struggles to find enough emergency beds for those fleeing the war.
It is understood the refugees were put up on camp beds at the stadium for one week and will be moving to alternative accommodation on Friday.
There are no plans for the arrangement at the Aviva to be extended, but it is believed similar arena-style sporting facilities will be considered for emergency shelter use in the coming months.
It emerged earlier this month that Ireland had run out of state accommodation for arriving Ukrainian refugees – resulting in Ukrainians being temporarily housed in tents at the Gormanston military camp in Co Meath.
60 refugees are being housed at the army camp this week.
The old Dublin Airport terminal was also being used for emergency accommodation, but it ceased to be used by the State as of Thursday.
To date, Ireland has taken in around 42,000 refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine – the majority women and children.
At present some 32,000 people are being accommodated, the majority of whom are staying in serviced accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses.
Every day about 130 more Ukrainian refugees arrive into the country.
Over the summer, the Government used 5,000 student accommodation beds to put up some of the refugees.
But over the coming weeks, the number of these beds in use will reduce as students return to use them for the coming academic year.
Religious buildings, modular homes and vacant properties are some of the other accommodation options being examined by the Government.
Repurposing some vacant buildings for long-term use as homes for refugees is under way but it is understood it is proving to be a slow process.
Another issue which is proving to be problematic is finding people to run facilities and provide all the supports needed – such as catering, maintenance, security, and wellbeing support for long-term residents.