The number of migrants and asylum seekers in need of accommodation in Ireland by the end of 2023 was projected in a draft report earlier this year at potentially reaching 170,000 people, estimated at 137,000 Ukrainians and 32,000 people from other countries.
The report noted that, in February 2023, the State was accommodating some 77,000 people at that time – with 19,741 being non-Ukrainians, with Georgia, Nigeria and Albania being the top three countries for place of origin of those claiming to be asylum seekers.
However, it reported that a likely scenario, with ongoing conflict in the Ukraine, would be that the number of Ukrainians would climb to 137,000 by the end of 2023, while other applicants would also grow to reach almost 32,000 needing accommodation and services.
That scenario was envisaged by the Secretary General in the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth when giving evidence at an Oireachtas Committee earlier in the year.
The draft report from the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, released under a freedom of information request to Ken Foxe of TheStory.ie, acknowledged that Ireland was at “the head of the table” in Western Europe in terms of the number of people accommodated to claim asylum per head of population.
Latest figures show that the number of non-Ukrainian arrivals continue to remain at very high levels in contrast to other years.
The International Protection Office this week reported that some 5,443 additional people had claimed asylum in Ireland in the first six months of 2022, despite the ongoing crisis in accommodation.
While this is a decrease on the surge in numbers at this time in 2022, it is more than double the 2,235 migrants who came in that period in 2019 (the year before the Covid crisis) and more than three times the arrivals to June in 2018.
The trend of large numbers of arrivals to Ireland from countries which are not experiencing war continues, with Algeria and Nigeria again leading the number of migrants applying for protection.
The CSO also reported that 84,613 arrivals from Ukraine were in Ireland by 06 June 2023, of which just over 600 arrived in the previous seven days.
The unprecedented numbers arriving in Ireland has led to a crisis in accommodation and other services, with Departments scrambling to find housing for new arrivals in addition to the existing difficulties being faced by Irish people.
The number of people recorded as homeless in the Republic increased again to 12,600 in June of this year – up 20% on the same time last year.
Department of Housing figures showed 8,835 adults were homeless in June, as well as 3,765 children.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has insisted that Ireland cannot put a limit on the number of asylum seekers, even as countries such as Denmark and Sweden adopt tougher immigration measures.