Thursday, 14 July 2022
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
Refugee Resettlement Programme
I reiterate that the Government is not downplaying the issue. This is really, really serious. We understand. I spoke to the Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Deputy O’Gorman, about it yesterday, and to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Deputy O'Brien. We are facing an increasingly challenging situation from a humanitarian perspective. The Deputy has raised the issue in Swords around local volunteers. We need a combination of voluntary supports and professional services. That has to be the case. It is important because of the sheer scale of the challenge that we are facing. I am more than happy to raise that matter with the Minister, Deputy O’Gorman. I am sure the Deputy has raised it with him himself.
Separately, on the temporary protection directive and what appears to be a two-tier system, there is no doubt the temporary protection directive was brought in as an immediate response to the Ukraine war. It is a different system than the international protection, IP, system. There is no doubt that, in terms of timeframe or processing, that was going to be the case. The Government just making every effort to address the immediate challenges around what has happened over the last number of weeks. We have reached capacity at every level. It is important that we continue to make those efforts and support the families. This will not be resolved in the short term. The numbers will still come in. We have to continue to work and adapt. The Minister, Deputy O'Brien, has spoken to me about seeking all available options across the country for accommodation. We appreciate the voluntary efforts of which the Deputy speaks across communities and across the country, which have been overwhelming. I will take those points back to the Minister, Deputy O'Gorman.