Dáil debates

Thursday, 10 March 2022

Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate

Ukrainian War

3:20 pm

Photo of Martin HeydonMartin Heydon (Kildare South, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

The Government will not be found wanting in supporting the Ukrainian people. The 2016 census showed that 3,000 Ukrainian nationals were resident in Ireland at the time. They all have loved ones about whom they are greatly concerned and they may be looking to bring them here. We are taking a whole-of-government response to ensure we offer them all the supports they need. As I mentioned, there is the initial support of social protection and the supplementary welfare allowance for child dependants. Similarly, the HSE has a role to play in healthcare. Ukrainian nationals will be supported to access public primary and post-primary education, and Tusla will also provide assistance in these matters.

To date, all Ukrainians who have sought access to the IPAS system have been accommodated. We will continue to work hard to provide the additional accommodation that will be needed to meet the increased demand we expect. From 1 October to 9 March, 3,800 new arrivals sought international protection. We are aware pressure on the system will grow, which is why departmental officials are actively working to procure accommodation and supports for Ukrainian arrivals through hotel accommodation, in the first instance, and various other accommodation solutions.

The Deputy made a point about the need for industry and businesses such as insurance companies to take a mindful approach. We are taking a whole-of-government approach, including the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and Social Protection. All the Departments are working together in a co-ordinated way and we need business to support us in that regard. This unprecedented challenge will throw up many anomalies and we need to be agile to respond to them. The Government will not be found wanting in supporting these people. I thank the Deputy for raising this important matter.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.