Sports organizations invited to help

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The government has approached the country’s main sporting bodies to ask for help in the refugee crisis in Ukraine.

Last week, around 100 Ukrainian refugees were temporarily accommodated in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, as the state struggles to find enough emergency beds for those fleeing war.

It is understood that the refugees have been accommodated on cots at the stadium for a week.

A view of Dublin with the Gasworks Apartments and Aviva Stadium in the foreground

The Sport Oversight Department has now confirmed that all major Irish organizations have been contacted about similar short-term accommodation options.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media said: “The department has contacted the FAI, GAAIRFU and Sport Ireland to seek their assistance, on behalf of the Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), to provide short-term emergency accommodation people seeking humanitarian shelter in Ireland.

“Organizations have responded positively to the request and all resulting accommodation offers have been through DCEDIY’s direct engagement with sports organizations.”

Refugee crisis in Ukraine
Seats in Croke Park (Photo: Getty)

There are currently no plans to extend the arrangement at the Aviva, but it is believed that similar arena-style sports facilities will be considered for emergency shelter use in the coming months.

It emerged earlier this month that Ireland had run out of public accommodation for arriving Ukrainian refugees, forcing people to be temporarily housed in tents at Gormanston Army Camp in Co Meath.

Sixty refugees were accommodated at the military camp last week.

Dublin Airport’s old terminal was also used for emergency accommodation, but this ceased last Thursday.

To date, Ireland has hosted more than 40,000 refugees fleeing war in Ukraine – the majority of them women and children.

At present, some 32,000 people are housed, the majority of them in serviced accommodation such as hotels, bed and breakfasts and bed and breakfasts.

Refugee crisis in Ukraine
Dublin Airport’s old terminal was also used for emergency accommodation, but this ceased last Thursday. Dublin Airport (Picture: Getty)

Every day, approximately 130 additional Ukrainian refugees arrive in the country.

Over the summer, the government used 5,000 student accommodation beds to house some of the refugees.

But over the next few weeks, the number of these beds will decrease as students begin to use them again for the upcoming academic year.

Religious buildings, modular homes and vacant properties are some of the other accommodation options being considered by the government.

The repurposing of some vacant buildings for long-term use as refugee accommodation is underway, but it is understood that this is proving to be a slow process.

Refugee crisis in Ukraine
The camping beds that were installed in the Aviva last week (Pic: Twitter)

Another issue that is proving problematic is finding people to manage the facilities and provide all the necessary support – such as catering, maintenance, security and long-term resident welfare.

Meanwhile, the government’s €400 monthly payment for those hosting refugees from Ukraine has been opened for applications, with the first payments due on Tuesday 9 August.

The government agreed in May to introduce monthly payment to hosts per property where Ukrainians live, in recognition of the higher cost of bills during a cost-of-living crisis.

The payment can be backdated to March 4 and will be available until the end of March next year, a statement from the Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Care said on Tuesday. Youth.

“The payment is a recognition of the generosity of people who have made accommodation available to victims of a humanitarian crisis, and it is tied to a minimum accommodation commitment of six months,” he said.

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