Irish hotels cancel bookings to make room for refugees

Some Irish hotels are canceling reservations to free up space for Ukrainian refugees.

More than 7,250 people have arrived in Ireland from Ukraine in the last two and a half weeks, according to the latest figures.

Hotels and other emergency accommodation will be the first avenues explored to provide the refugees a safe, secure and comfortable life while the government and aid agencies such as the Red Cross match refugees with housing provided by the general public.

A A government source said there was immediate concern over the lack of emergency hotel accommodation next week.

This would require the government to activate contingency plans involving the use of gyms and other large venues, which, it is feared, could create far worse conditions than direct hosting.

More than 19,000 pledges of accommodation for Ukrainian refugees have been made on the Red Cross portal.

The charity has asked Irish families to be patient during the verification and matching process.

“Some families have already been put in contact with refugees, but the general way things work is that when refugees arrive at a port or an airport, they are met by immigration officers who process them, issue them documents and then provide them with accommodation in a hotel for a period of about two weeks,” a Red Cross spokesperson said.

“While there they recover from the initial trauma of what they witnessed and the experience of flight, often leaving their men behind.

“The Red Cross checks accommodation offered and matches offers to individuals’ needs, and this can take a little time, so we ask people to be patient.

“Some refugees are already placed with families who have been with the Red Cross before and have been housed in other crisis situations,” he said.

“But many, many people are new to the system, and we need to assess everyone on things like location, space, access to education and public transport, and housing that offers both the host family and the visiting family a good level or intimacy. ”

The Park Inn by Radisson at Shannon Airport is one hotel that has canceled some bookings for this weekend as it prepares to welcome around 130 refugees from Ukraine.

The hotel has been booked for three months.

He told customers cancellations yesterday to make room for those fleeing the conflict.

A hotel spokesperson said most people whose reservations were canceled understood the reason.

The Irish Hotel Federation said its industry plans to support refugee families on arrival and is aware that a number of hotels have been approached directly by the relevant authorities regarding accommodation.

“Participation would be a matter for each individual hotel, and arrangements would be handled directly with the hotels,” a spokesperson said.
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The bed and breakfast sector has said it also wants to play its part in providing accommodation for refugees, and more than 800 members have been contacted by the organization representing the sector.

“Our industry is eager to do its part,” said Helena Healy, Managing Director of B&B Ireland.

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