The Department of Sport has confirmed that it has been contacting sporting bodies to see if there are any sporting venues available to house Ukrainian refugees on a short-term basis.

The Government is coming under increasing pressure as around 3,500 Ukrainians living in student accommodation will have to move out over the coming weeks as students return to college.

It is understood refugees are being asked to take up pledges of accommodation with almost 3,000 people now accommodated this way.

The Government is hoping additional hotel accommodation will come online through September and October when the tourist season comes to an end.

Following a report in the Business Post, the Department of Sport told RTÉ News it had been asked by the Department of Children to contact the GAA, the IRFU and Sport Ireland looking for accommodation.

It said: "The organisations responded positively to the request and any accommodation offers arising were the subject of direct engagement by the department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth with the sports organisations."

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A number of Ukrainian refugees were accommodated at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin for a week earlier this month, but have now been moved to alternative accommodation around the country.

More than 43,000 Ukrainian people have arrived in Ireland so far and it is anticipated that there could be around 50,000 in Ireland by the middle of August.

The State is providing accommodation for over 32,000, which equates to 76% of arrivals.

Of this number, almost 29,000 are in serviced accommodation such as hotels, while another 1,134 are in emergency accommodation and 2,700 people are in pledged accommodation.

As the State comes under increasing pressure to accommodate refugees from Ukraine, there have also been unprecedented arrivals of people from other countries seeking international protection.

The Government is continuing to seek a second transit hub for refugees as Citywest is under pressure to facilitate the high numbers.

The number of people staying in Citywest at any one time varies, but the Government said there were between 500-600 people there this week.

The Nasc Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre has said it is concerned by the decision to accommodate people fleeing the war in Ukraine in sports venues.

Chief Executive Fiona Hurley said: "Clearly there has been unprecedented pressure on the Government over the last six months."

However, she said while it is a huge challenge, Nasc believes "accommodating people in these sporting venues, that are clearly not designed for accommodation, must be a measure of last resort".

"We are talking here about a population of predominantly women, children and vulnerable adults who are escaping war and it is very difficult to ensure that there are correct safeguarding procedures in venues like these."

Ms Hurley also said that many of the Ukrainian refugees coming to Ireland have been deeply traumatised by their experience of the conflict and she said "it is really important that we have children in a stable environment".

She added: "While we understand that the student accommodation coming to an end does create a huge pinch point here for the Government, we would like to see longer term planning put in place and that is why Nasc, together with other organisations, have been calling for a national lead to be put in place around Ukraine and refugee issues, who can take a long-term view of accommodation."