“Possible” Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland from other EU countries will receive more generous benefits, – Tánaiste

‘Phenomenon’ |

Under new proposals, arrivals from Ukraine could only have access to state-provided accommodation for up to 90 days

Micheál Martin visits Kiev as Ireland’s bill for aid to Ukraine tops €210 million

Tánaiste Micheál Martin said it was possible that Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland came from other EU countries because the support they received here was more generous than in other countries.

Mr Martin said a “phenomenon” of people who fled the war in Ukraine now arriving in Ireland after being stationed in other European countries was putting pressure on available accommodation, but said he could not quantify.

He was speaking after the issue was discussed at today’s Cabinet meeting, but no decision had yet been made on possible changes to state accommodation provision.

Under proposals from Equality Minister Roderic O’Gorman, new arrivals from Ukraine could only have access to state-provided accommodation for up to 90 days.

Mr Martin said it was “possible” that people would come to Ireland because aid to refugees in Ireland was more generous than in other European countries, but added: “People are mobile, to be fair, there are families, that come together… I don’t do that.” Have some problem with that. But I think the matter is under general consideration in all its aspects, so I will leave it at that.”

He was speaking at a briefing for journalists on the sidelines of the Global Ireland Summit at Dublin Castle. Earlier, Mr Martin said at a press conference that issues relating to government support for refugees were being “clarified”.

“I think, first of all, a lot of people have commented on the strength of Ireland’s response to the war against Ukraine. It is a cruel war. It is a very cruel war and many people have fled this war, especially during the bombing of infrastructure and civilian housing last year,” he said.

“So people have commented positively on Ireland’s response. We are not a military power. We do not provide military aid like other European countries, and other EU member states have made extraordinary public expenditures.

“So we have been mostly involved on the political and humanitarian front, supporting Ukraine’s accession to the European Union and taking in war refugees.

“But there are indications that there may now be some secondary transfers from across Europe rather than directly from Ukraine and that is the issue that is now being examined with a view to future arrivals.

He said it was a matter that continued to be discussed.

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