Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said that “you can’t limit numbers” of Ukrainian refugees that Ireland accepts, even despite the ongoing accommodation crisis.
The comments were made this week during a radio interview on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, with the Dublin Central TD emphasising how welcoming Irish people are of asylum seekers from abroad.
“We understand when people flee for their lives, seeking international protection, we will afford that to people,” she said.
At this point she was asked if she supported the government’s “no cap” policy for Ukrainian refugees, allowing an unlimited amount to come and seek refuge in Ireland.
‘No cap on Ukrainian refugees arriving’ despite accommodation challenges https://t.co/zMLnl1KkFH
— Irish Examiner (@irishexaminer) April 21, 2022
“You can’t limit numbers. You can’t limit numbers,” she replied, agreeing with the government policy.
“When people are seeking asylum and fleeing for their lives, of course you have an obligation to afford international protection. We all know that.”
The comments echo Sinn Féin’s stance during the last migrant crisis in 2015, during which time they said there should be “no upper limit” on the number of refugees that Ireland accepts and houses.
As Ireland scrambles to house thousands of new arrivals from Ukraine, the years-long housing crisis continues to get worse, with scenes of dozens of people queuing to attempt to rent a Dublin property.
People queuing up to view a house on the cabra road. pic.twitter.com/FF3hOFtHQg
— james cullen (@cullenjay01) September 13, 2022
Union representatives have also said that student accommodation shortage is the “worst it has ever been,” with students taking out loans and deferring courses due to the lack of accommodation available.
Student accommodation shortage 'the worst it has ever been' https://t.co/NGfVap4WFE
— Irish Examiner (@irishexaminer) September 13, 2022