Taoiseach must lead out on refugee accommodation
08 June 2023
- Time for Department of Taoiseach to take responsibility for co-ordinating national effort
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has urged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to step up and take responsibility for the ongoing failures to provide shelter for people fleeing war.
Deputy Bacik said:
“Cabinet is set to sign off on a €1.5 million pay off as a result of our failure to provide adequate accommodation for people fleeing atrocities. We hear Ministers floating ideas like floatels this morning, rather than using the swathes of vacant buildings nationwide to house those who need support and shelter.
“We know from the experience of other countries that there are potentially huge issues with floatels and it really begs the question – why is Government sending the message out to those fleeing war that all Ireland can provide is floating homes? It’s shameful that no one in Government is seeing the wood for the trees on this issue.
“Labour has consistently raised buildings like Baggot Street Hospital and Jurys Hotel Ballsbridge – surely sites like this would be much more suitable?
“We need to see a more strongly coordinated response from Government on this. It’s time for the Taoiseach to lead out on this and take responsibility for co-ordinating the national effort. Government policy has remained entirely reactive, moving from crisis to crisis.
“We saw the power of the State during Covid to mobilise and act in the best interest of all people. It’s time for a NPHET-style approach to providing housing for refugees. We need to hear from the Taoiseach about what will be done immediately.”