Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone has said the 40 children who will be coming to Ireland, who were previously located in the Calais refugee camp, are all boys aged between 16 and 17.

She said they would be housed in small residential units and she expected 20 or so of the minors to come to Ireland within the next month.

She said she will be discussing the cost of housing the minors with her Cabinet colleagues.

It will cost €10m a year to house and care for the 40 minors in Ireland.

Last November, the Dáil passed an all-party motion mandating the Government to help up to 200 unaccompanied minors who had been affected by the dismantling of the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais in France in October.

Ms Zappone also plans to set up a National Project Office to focus on the needs of the children.

Officials from the minister's office, and also the Child and Family Agency, Tusla, last week travelled to France to meet their counterparts to discuss several legal issues and the validation processes for the unaccompanied children to come to Ireland.

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, the minister said that the children will join one or two of the residential centres established for unaccompanied minors in different parts of the country.

She said that Tusla will be given the resources required to receive the young people, with the money coming from her department.

Ms Zappone also said Minster for Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe will work closely with her department to keep the costs under review.

Meanwhile, The Immigrant Council of Ireland has welcomed the Cabinet's approval to accept the children from the Calais refugee camps. 

Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland said: "They [the children] will of course need both practical and emotional supports to ensure they can settle into their new communities and we welcome Minister Katherine Zappone's plans to set up a National Project Office to focus on the needs of the children.

"Effective integration is not without cost and social infrastructure including schools, healthcare services, Tusla and housing supports must be sufficiently funded."