Minister for Integration Roderic O'Gorman has said that Ukrainian refugees housed in tented accommodation in Gormanston will stay there for "a maximum of a week".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Mr O'Gorman said: "Initially we will be moving about 150 in on Tuesday.

"There is capacity for 350 in total. It's tented accommodation. It's large military marquee tents.

"I think it's about 16 to a tent. There are shower and toilet facilities provided on site.

"It's not envisaged to be a long-term facility."

Over 300 people were forced to stay at the old terminal building at Dublin Airport last week due to a lack of accommodation elsewhere.

Mr O'Gorman said no refugees slept there over the weekend, while 780 people were housed at Citywest last night.

"So, in terms of our two immediate objectives, ending the use of Dublin Airport and reducing numbers in Citywest, they've been achieved," Mr O’Gorman said.

"This week we'll be initiating the use of Gormanston tented accommodation and we’ll also be continuing work to open a new welcome centre.

"We'll also be continuing to move Ukrainians into the new accommodation provided by the Department of Housing."

There has been a "surge" in refugees arriving from Ukraine in the last six to eight weeks, Mr O'Gorman said.

"We link it to the increase in attacks on civilian populations throughout Ukraine," he said.

"I think we have managed the arrival of 42,000 Ukrainians and accommodating 30,000 of those over the course of the last number of months in a reasonably systematic way."

The minister also confirmed that deportations of asylum seekers, which was suspended during the pandemic, have resumed.

"The Department of Justice have indicated that four people that have gone through the process whose initial application and appeal have been rejected, that deportations will be resumed." He added that "a range of changes to migration policy in the United Kingdom and the Rwanda policy" has contributed to a rise in the number of people seeking asylum in Ireland.

"We believe that is one of the reasons why we are experiencing an increase in international protection applicants," Mr O'Gorman said.

'Up to 16 people in each tent'

CEO of the Irish Refugee Council Nick Henderson said the plan to house refugees in tented accommodation is "very concerning" as up to 16 people will be staying in each tent.

He said he thinks it indicates the seriousness of the situation, but the Irish Refugee Council does think it is manageable.

He told RTÉ's Today with Philip Boucher-Hayes that he hopes that a temporary solution does not become long-term accommodation.

"One thing I want to emphasise is that we do think this is a manageable situation with the right policies and procedures in place, but we believe very unfortunately that we're starting to pay the price of not implementing medium to long-term accommodation options and recommendations that we and others recommended and called for in April and May.

"But it's a very serious situation, and I'd be particularly concerned that something that is temporary and or is stated to be temporary in nature turns into a longer-term solution."

He highlighted how Direct Provision has shown how a short-term solution has become a policy and is now in place for 22 years.

"One thing that we are particularly concerned about is the absence of other Government departments stepping up and getting involved in this.

"I think it's worth reflecting on the fact that the Department of Children are now accommodating more than 40,000 people. They're focusing on the beginning, the initial accommodation that people are provided. And they're doing a huge amount of the heavy lifting. It's not all been perfect.

"There have been serious problems, but there's people working in that department very hard to try and get accommodation online where we have other problems that we're now seeing is that other Government departments are not uninvolved sufficiently."

He called for greater coordination at the top and said there is a need for a refugee response director to be appointed.

He said a cap on numbers of refugees coming into the country is not necessary and it would put Ireland "in a starkly isolated position with the rest of Europe, and I think it would show ourselves up as not having implemented forward medium to long-term planning".

Mr Henderson said it is hard to tell if the UK’s Rwanda policy has resulted in more people coming to Ireland who are seeking international protection.

The decision to send people seeking asylum to Rwanda "may be causing instability and turbulence and making people question whether the UK is a safe space to have their asylum claim considered".

However, he said, there continues to be people trying to cross the channel, "so I don't think it's a deterrent and I think the Taoiseach was completely correct in calling it out last week as something that was really quite abhorrent and a political statement and gesture as much as anything".

43,256 Ukrainian arrivals as of 10 July - CSO

There were 43,256 arrivals from Ukraine in Ireland by the week ending 10 July, an increase of just under 4,500 in three weeks.

As of the week ending 10 July, there have been 43,256 Personal Public Service Numbers (PPSNs) issued to individuals from Ukraine under the Temporary Protection Directive.

Women aged 20 and over account for 47% of arrivals to date, while individuals aged 0-19 (both male and female) account for 37%.

The highest percentage of those arriving (39% or 17,034 individuals) were categorised as 'One parent with children' under the broad relationship classification headings used. Note that spouses/partners may have stayed in Ukraine.

As of 10 July, of the arrivals that attended employment support events arranged by Intreo Public Employment Services, 66% were noted with English language proficiency being a challenge in securing employment.

Of the 13,514 arrivals who attended an Intreo event, 9,645 had recorded previous occupations with "professionals" being the largest group at 33%. Of the 9,744 persons where the highest level of education was recorded, 69% had achieved an NFQ level equivalent to 7 or higher.

Based on administrative data currently available to the CSO, of the arrivals from Ukraine aged 18 and older, 91% showed activity in administrative data after 31 May, 2022.

Additional reporting: Laura Whelan