The Minister of State for Sport has written to sporting organisations in light of the large number of refugees arriving from Ukraine.

Jack Chambers said: "I think the sporting system has a lot to offer as well and we will need a whole of Government response, but also a whole of society response".

The "sporting pillars of society can play a key role in supporting this effort," he said.

He has asked Sport Ireland and the three major sporting organisations - the FAI, IRFU and the GAA - to engage at their grassroots on how they can help.

Mr Chambers said they are seeking any clubs that have sports halls that could have capacity for 50 or more people with the appropriate toilets and showers and kitchen facilities.

"We're seeing households doing that with the offering they're giving, but also I think our sport system can play a role."

It would be short term accommodation but as up to 40,000 refugees may be in Ireland by the end of the month there will be pressures on existing accommodation and "we need to respond to that across society", he said.

Communities will have to assess what is possible for them and how they can help, he said.

The Minister said that a payment to people hosting refugees may be considered.

"We are going to have serious accommodation pressures where we'll need to use all levels of capacity, and we'll have to continuously review and assess how we're meeting the ongoing demands of numbers that are arriving here.

"Our impulse as a society and as a Government is to respond in a humane way," he added.

Separately, Minister Chambers said that Euro 2028 will be good for north south relations in Ireland.

Speaking about the start of the Major Events Policy in the Programme for Government this year, he said work is being done on Ireland's bid to host the games with the UK.

He said that negotiations with the GAA had been positive as had early discussions with the FAI which are continuing, and the bid process continues for 12 months.

He added that Croke Park will play an important part of Euro 2028, and that officials are engaging with the British government.