By Cillian Sherlock, PA
The Minister for Justice has said it is “extraordinarily challenging” to provide shelter for everyone fleeing persecution.
Simon Harris was responding to a question on reports that approximately 80 asylum seekers were sleeping in tents in Knockalisheen, Co Clare during freezing conditions.
Mr Harris said this was not “optimal”.
The Government had previously pledged to end the practice of accommodating asylum seekers in tents.
“From time to time significant issues do arise. This is one. Of course, nobody would suggest this is in any way an optimal situation,” he said.
Mr Harris said Government was constantly working to come up with new ways of providing people with accommodation.
“Our first obligation though, is to keep people safe fleeing persecution. And that’s our overriding objective,” he said.
“We’ve never suggested responding to the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time was going to be straightforward or easy,” he added.