September 25, 2022

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The Irish Red Cross has said it does not know where Ukrainian refugees who are leaving student accommodation will go.

Around 2,500 refugees will have to move elsewhere by the end of this month when students return to their accommodation for the new term.

Liam O’Dwyer, the secretary general of the Irish Red Cross, said this had always been known and it is hoped many refugees will be able to move into pledged accommodation in the next two weeks, he told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland.

Mr O’Dwyer surmised that the refugees could move to hotels, institutional accommodation identified by the Government, sports halls or it could be to Gormanstown, but the charity has not yet been told. This was a cause of concern, he said.

The Red Cross continues to follow up and engage with accommodation that was pledged.

An issue of great concern to the refugees was that they remain in an area where their children are registered to go to school. There are 7,500 refugee children due to go to school in Ireland in the coming weeks.

Mr O’Dwyer added that another concern was proximity to work for the 6,000 refugees who have commenced work in Ireland.

When asked how long refugees were staying in Gormanstown, Mr O’Dwyer said there was no information other than that such stays were short term.

The intention was that people would not stay any longer than a week before they would be moved to City West or to other accommodation.

The focus now was to try to get as many refugees as possible into pledged accommodation. To date between 3,600 to 3,700 had moved into pledged accommodation.

The process was not straightforward as it was necessary to ensure that shared accommodation worked for both parties, he said.

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