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Majority Of Irish People Support Migration, and think Gardai Need To be Tougher On Violent Protest and Intimidation | Ukraine Civil Society Forum (Poll)

May 16, 2024
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“The Irish Government is misreading the sentiment of the majority of Irish people” Emma LaneSpollen, Ukraine Civil Society Forum.

The Red C Omnibus Poll commissioned by the Ukraine Civil Society Forum shows:

  • The majority of Irish people are supportive of migration and 76% feel the Gardai need to be tougher on recent arson attacks and intimidation at refugee centres.
  • A majority of Irish people polled welcome those fleeing war and famine, support the provision of specific accommodation for refugees in the community, and take the pressure off housing.
  • The poll also shows that a majority support efforts to integrate communities and refugees. 72% believe that intensive English classes should be provided to help refugees integrate and find work faster, according to the Red C poll. Views are fairly consistent between urban and rural, and across the provinces.

There are approximately 85,000 people from Ukraine currently living in Ireland.

Over 25,000 are children. 47,800 live in hotels, B&B’s, guesthouses and other accommodation contracted by the State. It is these latter who are targeted by the reduction in social support from €232/week (Job seekers) to €38.50 a week for an adult and €29.80 for a child.

Approximately 36% of those of working age of the 85,000 are in employment, similar numbers are in further education, largely learning English.

It is also important to clarify: The 47,800 refugees that are living in state provided accommodation already pay €70/week for adults and €35/week for a child for food, and in addition they pay for laundry and other services. It is far from entirely free, contrary to what the Taoiseach has suggested.

These people are stranded in this accommodation because we are in a housing crisis, there is no accommodation, they have no access to HAP, and rents as we all know are largely unaffordable.

John Lannon of Doras said, “This extraordinary handbrake turn by Taoiseach Simon Harris to slash welfare to €38.80 a week solves nothing. Living in a hotel room without the ability to cook one's own meals has a detrimental effect on mental health. It is not a good solution. But pulling the rug by cutting income - what does that achieve? It creates panic, reduces money in the local economy, impacts mental health, adds anxiety to children already traumatised and will force vulnerable people into potentially exploitative situations.”