The number of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland could exceed 80,000, a government minister has confirmed.

Minister of State in the Department of Justice, James Browne, said the exodus of people from Ukraine was on a scale not witnessed in Europe since the end of the Second World War.

His comments came as the UN announced that more than 1.5 million people have now fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

The updated estimate on the number of refugees expected in Ireland comes as the latest figures show that 1,349 people have arrived into Ireland from Ukraine so far.

This includes 307 people who came here yesterday and 46 others have landed into Dublin Airport this morning.

So far 909 women and 437 men have sought refuge here. 486 of those who have arrived in Ireland are aged under 18 years.

173 people have requested accommodation from state services. Others are staying with family and friends already living here.

Government examines accommodation options

Government ministers are examining a variety of options to accommodate the unprecedented number of further arrivals.

The use of modular homes on state land is being explored and members of the public will also be asked to volunteer to host refugees.

"The last time we've seen a kind of movement like this, to this degree in Europe, was at the end of World War Two when we saw a huge movement of German people who became refugees at the end of that war," said Minister Browne.

"We haven't seen anything like this since then.

"Now we have learned a lot over recent years in terms of dealing with the pandemic that we do know we have that capacity and that generosity and capability within a country to mobilise when we need to in the face of a very, very serious situation.

"But we are now potentially looking at 80,000-plus, there is not going to be any cap on those numbers coming into this country."

Additional reporting: Micheál Lehane