The Department of Sport has asked sporting bodies to house Ukrainian refugees on a temporary basis.

The government has come under increasing pressure as around 3,500 refugees housed in student accommodation will have to move elsewhere in the coming weeks as the new academic year begins.

The GAA has passed on the message to club and county boards, hoping someone will have the facilities to accommodate some refugees come September.

Student accommodation crisis

Around 5,000 units will revert to housing students.

Cork County Council has made efforts to help house Ukrainians by surveying property on Cape Clear Island, hoping it can be of use.

County Mayor Danny Collins told Newstalk that this is a good idea which will hopefully ease strain on college accommodation.

“A lot of these students are starting their first year in college and I know situations where they’re finding it very hard to find accommodation”, he said.

“The government has been working very slowly on these issues and I think they’ll have to just speed up now because we’re only three to five weeks away from colleges reopening again.”

“This is one way out of the situation at least.”

Health & Safety

The State’s health watchdog says there’s no capacity in Ireland’s residential care system to accommodate disabled Ukrainian refugees.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is also concerned health and social care services could be crippled by the those displaced by war, considering 42 thousand refugees have already arrived since February.

Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, says the government’s turn to temporary accommodation signals that the country is reaching capacity:

“It’s going to be very stressful for people even in a very temporary situation.”

“I think what’s really critical, and HIQA names it, it doesn’t have a role in inspecting temporary accommodation or accommodation for Ukrainians per se”, she said.

“They could play probably a very important role here.”

Hoteliers

The government has also appealed to more families in the hospitality sector to accommodate refugees from Ukraine.

The state is willing to pay hoteliers €135 per night for single adults to stay in their hotels.

On The Pat Kenny Show Tim Fenn, chief executive of the Irish Hotels Federation, said that some hotels didn’t realise how quickly the tourism industry would recover when they committed to housing refugees earlier this year.

Many are now choosing not to renew their contracts with the government.

Main image shows temporary beds for refugees in the Aviva Stadium. Image: Donal McNamee/Business Post