Thursday, 29 September 2022
Ceisteanna ar Pholasaí nó ar Reachtaíocht - Questions on Policy or Legislation
Leo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source
I thank the Deputy. I appreciate the Deputy's sincerity in this matter. We should not forget that we are experiencing war in Europe. For the first time in nearly a century, we see the horrors of a war of this scale on our Continent. Some 5 million people have had to leave Ukraine, and roughly 1% of those have had to come to Ireland.
That is 50,000 people, however, which is a lot of people. Our response is never going to be perfect. We can just do our best, provide the best accommodation we can and provide the best public services we can, and, crucially, provide access to education and to the labour market so Ukrainians who come here are able to work, as I know a lot have already. I know a lot of communities, particularly in the north inner-city of Dublin and also in some rural parts of Ireland, have accepted a lot of Ukrainians and have welcomed them. It is important that those communities who have welcomed people from Ukraine should be assisted and rewarded for doing so, and that is certainly the intention of Government. The response is going to be imperfect. This is the first time we have seen a refugee crisis like this affect Ireland and it is never going to be perfect, unfortunately.