Hosting Refugees in Ireland: The Housing Challenge

29 April 2024|JRS Europe

Related: Ireland, JRS Ireland
Alberto together with the JRS Ireland team.

JRS Europe Regional Director, Alberto Ares, recently visited the JRS Ireland team from Tuesday 22 April to Friday 26 April. During this period, he visited 10 accommodation centres located in Dublin, Limerick, Clare and Galway.

Alberto was very grateful for the personal meeting with several refugee people and families from different corners of the world, from Pakistan, Nigeria to Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Ghana and Egypt, among others. ‘The stories of each of these people, their strength and resilience, help us to keep hope alive in our mission.’

The visit was marked by fruitful meetings with the Jesuit Provincial, Fr Shane Daly, SJ, and the Board of JRS Ireland, including the Province Treasurer.

Alberto also engaged in networking and collaboration with the Ignatian Family in Ireland, meeting representatives from the schools, social centre, mission office, parishes, and Jesuit communities, expressing gratitude for their warm welcome and fruitful collaboration.

Furthermore, Alberto held discussions with various representatives and Irish state bodies, including Limerick City and County Council, Limerick Migrant Integration Forum, and a senior official from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, focusing on the challenges and realities faced by refugee communities in Ireland and by international protection applicants in the Irish reception system.

Acknowledging Ireland’s current international protection accommodation system challenges, he emphasized the importance of reflecting on past practices, planning for the future, and implementing a comprehensive reception strategy to address both immediate and long-term accommodation and care needs of persons seeking protection in Ireland.

‘We need to continue working hand in hand to plan well the reception strategy, contributing from the knowledge we have in the accompaniment we do to more than 60 reception centers throughout the country. Ireland is a welcoming country as it has demonstrated in its history, and JRS Ireland remains committed to continue contributing in this common mission. But we remain deeply concerned about the safety and wellbeing of unaccommodated asylum seekers living in tents on the streets’.

Lastly, the JRS Regional Director, commended the exceptional dedication, care, and professionalism of the JRS Ireland team in their mission to welcome, serve, and advocate for refugee communities across the country. He expressed pride in the team’s commitment and highlighted their invaluable role in supporting and accompanying refugees in Ireland.