IRISH DEFENSE FORCE soldiers are constructing a large tent village for Ukrainian refugees in the Gormanstown camp, but it is hoped it will only be used as a last resort.
Soldiers from the Ordnance Corps and the Engineering Corps began work last week on facilities at the County Meath camp.
They built the tents on solid raised bases and worked to provide electricity and plumbing for the facility.
A Defense Force spokesperson said the tents will only be used in a scenario where hotels and other facility space are exhausted.
“Following a request from the Department for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Affairs (DCEDIY), the Defense Forces have commenced preparation of accommodation at Gormanston Camp for Ukrainians seeking protection in Ireland. Work on this facility began on the weekend of March 19/20, 2022,” a statement read.
“Housing in Gormanston is prepared for emergencies due to the unprecedented nature of the situation.”
The government provides initial places for refugees arriving from Ukraine in hotels, guesthouses and guesthouses.
Accommodation has also been pledged by the general public, the suitability of which is being assessed.
State or private properties can also be considered suitable for short-term accommodation, as well as religious properties and the collective facilities of local authorities.
“All accommodation options are being considered in the context of the evolving situation,” a Defense Force spokesperson added.
Soldiers work hard to install toilets in the Gormanstown refugee camp.
Source: Irish Defense Forces
According to government figures, on Saturday more than 13,000 people arrived in Ireland from Ukraine. Many stayed with relatives and friends already living in Ireland, but more than 7,180 received help to find accommodation.
DCEDIY said it secured 2,773 long-term hotel rooms on Friday, with additional short-term room capacity also available. The ministry also said the number was increasing at a steady rate.
“There were 22,657 pledges of accommodation, shared and unshared, through the Irish Red Cross,” a statement said.
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“Of this amount, 4,896 relate to vacant properties. The Defense Forces made contact for 1,112 vacant homes to arrange inspections. 820 owners agreed to be inspected. 218 owners could not be contacted and must be contacted. 74 owners withdrew properties.
The Department is also in advanced talks with Airbnb and The Open Community regarding temporary accommodation provided to people fleeing conflict in Ukraine in Airbnb listings in Ireland.
“After initial contact with many of those who have offered pledged accommodation, the Irish Red Cross, together with the Defense Force, and teams of auctioneers, estate agents and engineers will begin checks necessary to confirm the adequacy of the promised accommodation for the accommodation of refugees fleeing Ukraine,” the spokesperson added.
Minister Roderic O’Gorman has previously warned that the scale of the refugee crisis is enormous.
“We are facing a humanitarian crisis on a scale never seen in Ireland. We remain steadfast in our solidarity with the plight of those displaced by war in Ukraine, and we continue to welcome the many who have arrived here in search of safety and shelter,” he said.
“Since the beginning of this war, my department and I have focused on providing shelter accommodation to those in need. The scale of the response to this crisis has been unprecedented, and the people of Ireland have shown an incredible level of generosity in their pledges of support and accommodation.