The Páirc Uí Chaoimh GAA Stadium in Cork is being used as a "as a temporary measure" for accommodating asylum seekers.

The Department of Integration has said that while the stadium "is not ideal", it is being used while alternative accommodation is found as soon as possible.

The asylum seekers will be accommodated in large function rooms while local club matches will continue at the venue.

Yesterday, the Irish Examiner reported that a group of up to 80 people seeking international protection in Ireland arrived at the stadium on Tuesday and will be accommodated there for the next four weeks.

In a statement, the department confirmed the temporary accommodation arrangement saying "while it is not ideal for arrivals to stay here, this is being used as a temporary measure while the Government works to find alternative accommodation without delay.

"The provider and facilities manager are doing all they can to make people comfortable. The State continues to try to source new accommodation and to extend accommodation currently in place where possible."

The department said "no displaced persons fleeing Ukraine" are being accommodated at the stadium.

Cork GAA Secretary Kevin O'Donovan said the use of Páirc Uí Chaoimh was requested by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth as a "short-term emergency accomodation for International Protection applicants".

Accommodation and facilities, overseen by a management company, are being provided at the 'Blackrock corner' of the stadium in a space previously used by the HSE as a Covid-19 vaccination clinic.

The facilities, he said, are being provided on a 'pro-bono' rental basis for a period of four weeks from last Tuesday, until Friday 23 September next and Cork GAA "look forward to positive engagement with all involved".

Almost 5,000 people have applied for asylum in Ireland in the first five months of 2022. The figures do not include the estimated 44,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived here having fled the war in Ukraine.

The Chief Executive of NASC the migrant and refugee rights centre has described the accommodation of asylum seekers at Páirc Uí Chaoimh as a "very worrying development".

"I think it's a very worrying development that the State has had to turn to sporting bodies and to community organisations to accommodate International Protection applicants and Ukrainian Temporary Protection beneficiaries," Fiona Hurley told RTÉ’s Drivetime programme.

"We fully understand that the Department of Children has been under enormous pressure for the last six months, but we do have to ask why we're resorting to this kind of quite unsuitable accommodation."