Independent TD Mattie McGrath has responded to government measures to implement Tougher checks, more deportations, and tented accommodation during the winter for Ukrainians”
Speaking to Gript regarding the lack of vetting of those claiming to be fleeing conflict in Ukraine McGrath said “we have to make sure people are not coming from other countries in the name of the war”, adding
“We absolutely have zero checks at our ports and airports”.
McGrath said he is aware of people claiming refugee status in Ireland “under the auspices” of the war who are either not from Ukraine, or not fleeing Ukraine, saying some are claiming asylum here having ‘lived in other countries for 10 years’.
Regarding reports of incomers from Ukraine being forced to sleep rough due to the unavailability of promised accommodation he said, “It’s a clear issue now that we can’t accommodate our own people, never mind say, the influx of people and this folly of open borders has been truly exposed”.
While acknowledging that the government did promise to house unlimited numbers of Ukrainians, McGrath said he was “pretty surprised” by comments made by Ukrainian Ambassador Gerasko Larysa about the treatment of refugees saying, “I met the ambassador down in my own country seeing first hand what communities are doing to help Ukrainians who are already here.”
He added that on hearing her comments his “antennas went up”
“Have they just an expectation now that when they say ‘jump’ we say ‘how high’?”
“We’re doing our best” adding “We’ve taken too many.”
McGrath said the government’s promise to take in unlimited numbers was a “pure pipe dream” describing the policy as “reckless from the point of view of the Taoiseach and Tánaiste”
He said we should have only taken in a number “we could handle’ to allow the refugees to be ‘treated with some modicum of decency and and respect”
He pointed to incompetence with in management of the refugee crisis pointing to the “saga of having them sleeping rough or in the airport” saying there was significant levels of “mismanagement”.
“I have a man who’s telling me that he has 2,500 places available, he’s a kind of middle man for the small accommodation units and they haven’t been taken up.”
“I also have a businessman in Tipperary who has 8 or 10 rooms ready adding he has a contract signed since July with no sign of any people coming in”
‘They’re good rooms that I’ve stayed in myself’ he said, adding that they had been “done up” but that they yet to be occupied.