A reply to a Freedom of Information request have revealed a collection of emails from the Department of Transport regarding the housing of Ukrainian refugees in boats, car parks and repurposed buildings. The emails span most of last year’s Refugee Crisis, granting insight into the state’s internal decision-making processes regarding the acquisition of additional accommodation.
Proposed throughout the document are plans to repurpose cruise ships, car parks and vacant buildings throughout rural and working-class areas.
The emails reveal the state’s desperate plan to find additional housing in the form of permanently docked cruise ships. The locations proposed for the euphemistically called ‘floating hotels’ included Dublin, Cork, Waterford, and Donegal. With the state hoping to house up to 1,500 refugees in some vessels, the proposals demonstrate the lengths the Irish government is willing to pursue for the sake of refugees.
Killybegs in Donegal was considered as a potential location to moor a large cruise ship, through contact with the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Marine advised against it.
A port in Dun Laoghaire was also looked at but deemed problematic because of potential disruption of the cruise industry as well as the expectation of residential objections.
Other locations included the repurposing of old car parks, such as a train station car park in Dunboyne, as well as a bus/coach park on Sheriff Street.
The government is shown to have considered the Polefield Site in East Wall for the creation of residential units as early as April of 2022, months before the contemporary protests would begin over the use of the old ESB office building for the housing of non-Ukrainian asylum seekers.
All this accommodation stated to be for Ukrainians, will undoubtedly be used for other migrants as the government becomes increasingly unable to deal with the vast influx of asylum seekers.
A program of renovation has begun on a number of sites to make them fit for housing, with some estimated for completion, with estimated completion dates towards the end of this year and into the early months of 2024. The public backlash against the state’s disastrous asylum policy is poised to continue into the coming months and years as scheduled accommodation projects finish construction.