Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government

Planning and Development Regulations: Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

I have one follow-up question. We had news this week that a significant number of Ukrainian families, and a significant number of children in my constituency who are currently residing in the Ibis hotel, received letters informing them that they will be moved within the next two weeks. The letters did not tell them where or under what circumstances they will be moving. These children are settling into local schools, and we have had communications from principals and others expressing concern. Everybody understands that where accommodation is temporary, there is a possibility that people will be moved. I live in the real world, so I understand that. I express to the Minister of State that the way in which those families were communicated with was less than ideal. A letter that raises more questions than provides answers to families who are already traumatised and fleeing a war is not the kind of personal or human touch that is required.

I again ask the Minister of State to take back to the Minister, Deputy O'Gorman, if he can, that where families are going to be moved, particularly if it is at short notice, it could be done in a more person-to-person manner, because those families are now very anxious. They are unsure where they are going to go. Some of the children, who are experiencing post-traumatic stress, are only just beginning to settle into routines and patterns and there is now a huge amount of uncertainty. That is not the ideal approach. Again, I appreciate that we are in an emergency situation but I ask for that concern be communicated to the Minister in order to review how we engage with the families and to ensure that, where moves are unavoidable, people are communicated with in the most sensitive and compassionate manner possible.


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