Warning number of asylum seekers sleeping rough could double

At least 24 international protection applicants left without accommodation since arriving in State on Tuesday

Organisations supporting homeless people have warned that the numbers sleeping rough on Dublin’s streets could double due to the State being unable at present to provide accommodation to arriving asylum seekers.

Another 17 asylum seekers were left without accommodation on Wednesday after being told the the State was unable to source anywhere for them to stay. This brings to 24 the number of people seeking international protection who have been told this week that there is no space available because of a nationwide shortage. It is understood that the vast majority of those affected, if not all, are single men.

The Department of Children and Integration has said there is a particular shortage in accommodation for single men applying for international protection, with priority being given to people fleeing the war in Ukraine and women and children seeking asylum from other countries.

The shortage is expected to continue for several days with those not accommodated told they would be contacted when spaces became available. At least seven men who arrived into Ireland seeking international protection on Tuesday were told there was no State-provided beds available.


Speaking on Thursday, Una Burns, head of policy at homeless support organisation Novas, warned the numbers sleeping rough in Dublin city may double in the coming week as a result of the shortage of accommodation for asylum seekers.

Ms Burns said 100 single adults arrive into the State every week seeking protection, with the closure of the Citywest hub meaning many of those people could be left sleeping on the streets.

“There is going to be a significant transformation of rough sleeping in the city,” she told RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland.

Novas would provide a hot meal, a sleeping bag and toiletries to people, but she said it could not provide a bed as the capacity was not there. The situation was “very tight at the moment,” she said.

Refugees intending to seek asylum in Ireland have been told to defer any travel plans amid a severe shortage of available accommodation, which could persist for weeks or even months. The State plans to keep a hub at Citywest in Dublion closed to international protection applicants seeking emergency shelter for at least another few days as the migration crisis enters an “extremely difficult phase”.

The system for accommodating asylum seekers reached a similar crisis point on a number of occasions last year, leaving small numbers of men who came to Ireland to seek asylum sleeping rough.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times

Vivienne Clarke

Vivienne Clarke is a media monitor and reporter

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times