The latest figures released by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration on Youth on the occupancy figures for International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) report 19,635 residents for the week ending January 29, 2023.

Chart, line chart

Description automatically generated

A remarkable increase from the 10,447 recorded on 27 March 2022 and the 16,838 recorded on 30 October. For the week, 251 arrivals were recorded, most of whom (77%) were International Protection Office arrivals. Approximately 50% of the arrivals were reported as single males, 20% as children, 13% as single females, 9% as couples and 7% as single parents.

Chart, pie chart

Description automatically generated

The breakdown by county shows that close to 40% are residing in Dublin, with Cork, Wicklow, Meath and Donegal also reporting large populations slightly below or slightly higher than 1,000. There are curiously zero occupants currently residing in Carlow, the only county that has recorded as such.


Description automatically generated

The most interesting statistics however are those of nationality. As the national debate surrounding immigration becomes increasingly more invective-laden, particularly concerning the establishment of asylum seeker accommodation, a thorough analysis of these figures may help to advance the public debate.

International Protection in Ireland is granted to those who have a ‘well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion’ i.e. refugee status, or subsidiary protection status, which means that one cannot return to their own country at risk of serious harm, but otherwise does not qualify for refugee status.

What may necessarily designate a person as a refugee is of course, determinable only on a case-by-case basis using proper procedural norms, but the public perception of refugee status is generally fleeing war, terrorism or extreme instability. It has also traditionally formed much of the argument in favour of asylum-seeker accommodation. 

Using methodology from the Global Conflict Tracker, run by the Council of Foreign Relations, we can report that approximately 58% of International Protection occupants are from countries that are not at war, nor are they from countries suffering from terrorist insurgencies or extreme instability. 

This includes occupants originally from Georgia, the largest nationality recorded, at 3,225 occupants. Georgia has been at peace since the cessation of the Russo-Georgian War of 2008, is designated by the Department of Justice as a ‘safe country of origin’ and according to the Georgian Ambassador to Ireland, George Zurabashvili, there are ‘no political circumstances’ that would justify Georgian nationals to claim asylum in Ireland.


Description automatically generated

Other nationalities prominently featured in the figures included Algeria (at peace since the cessation of its Civil War in 2002), with 2,031 occupants, Zimbabwe (at peace since the fall of Rhodesia in 1979) with 1,763 occupants and Albania (which has not been at war since the Second World War and which has been a pro-Western European democracy since the fall of the Communist regime in 1991), with 532 occupants. Some of the stranger, more inexplicable nationalities reported include Brazil, with 56 occupants, Turkey, with 43 and even the United States, with 29. 

21% of occupants however, those whose country of origin is either Nigeria or Somalia, live in regions undergoing terrorist insurgencies, from Boko Haram and Al-Shabab respectively. Additionally, almost 14% are originally from states undergoing extreme instability, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. 

Only 3.2% of occupants, their origin concentrated in just three countries, Ukraine (350 occupants), Syria (219 occupants) and Yemen (45 occupants), are originally from countries presently at war. 

Another 537 occupants come from nations classified as ‘Other’, so cannot be accurately determined as to their country of origin’s present status. A very small number of occupants may also have reported no nationality whatsoever.

The legal definition of ‘safe country of origin’ however is more complex; for there is no universal standard within the European Union, being left to individual members states to determine. For instance, Algeria is classified as a ‘safe country of origin’ by nine EU member states, including the Netherlands, Italy and Greece, but not by Ireland. South Africa, on the contrary, is classified as a ‘safe country of origin’ by Ireland. Yet Ireland is only one of two member states, the other being Slovakia, which classifies South Africa as such. 

There are at present just eight nations classified as ‘safe countries of origin’ by the International Protection Act 2015: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and South Africa. Nonetheless, almost a quarter of current International Protection occupants are originally from these ‘safe countries of origin’, as determined by Irish law.

Using a broader and probably more accurate determination of ‘safe country of origin’, we can assess that most of International Protection occupants at present probably fall within that category. 

Posted by Barney Kiernan


  1. I think this article needs a bit more nuance.
    Take Zimbabwe for example: while it has not technically been ‘at war’ since the fall of Rhodesia in 1979, as the article states, it is hardly a secret that it suffers from a high degree of internal instability, thanks to the policies of its erstwhile leader, Robert Mugabe, who only passed away a few years ago. Zimbabwe went from being the ‘breadbasket’ of that region of Africa to suffering severe food shortages, political opponents were harassed, intimidated and beaten. I think conditions for anyone involved in the political life of the country might still be quite harsh.


  2. Ivaus@thetricolour 03/02/2023 at 6:34 am

    With all due respect Barney and thank you for the updated information,
    nevertheless this situation has been acknowledged for certainly over a decade…specifically,”ILLEGALS ON ENTRY”.Next to no deportations.
    Not to undermine the severity of said consequence it is also the same
    situation in Homeless numbers…rising through decades and we’ve reached the highest peak, yet Again!…next to no housed.
    These catastrophes are interlinked and despite doing what’s right to fix and certainly address situations that a 4 year old child can comprehend quite clearly…we are fed bullsh.t and expected to absorb another round of utter incompetence delivered by ulterior motives and players.
    Varadecur,quoted today”This is not the Irish Way ” and WE are bond by
    International Obligations.It’s been his/their way for far too long now,
    it’s time to call theses basturds out because toying with the people is a game now,since when did he do it the Irish Way…and he had no problem
    in Binding A Nation to the whim of Overseas Vultures….cretinous creep


  3. Somebody’s having a serious laugh, and the joke is on Paddy.


  4. How does someone travel from El Salvador to Ireland ? How many countries do they pass through on their journey ? Same goes for arrivals from most destinations ! Why doesn’t IRL follow the UK & fine carriers the equivalent of £ 2,000 for each incorrectly documented passenger ? Politicians have no interest in sorting the problem , that’s why .


  5. Daniel BUCKLEY 03/02/2023 at 2:53 pm

    ‘THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.

    Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

    What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon Freedom; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated above all else.’

    Thomas Paine (Father of the American Republic) 1776.

    Ireland is mis-governed by a traitorous ,tyrannical, despotic Regime who despise ,betray and have contempt for its People.
    It is the duty of every citizen to resist this planned Ethnic Cleansing by Mass Migration Plantation and the usurping of our Republic and its Constitution, enshrined with its guarantees of Free Speech and freedoms to congregate.
    This Regime is a danger to the Health and security of the People of the Nation and the Republic.
    They must go or be removed.


  6. If you want the kind of social disorder and fracturing of a relatively cohesive society then mimic the boundless stupidity of the purported shamocracy that was formerly know as Great Britain.
    Three failed ‘asylum’ seekers were on trail for murder 3 British people these past few weeks and they, the pointless politicians and the people who run our borders, pro-migrant lawyers still insist on leaving the doors open. More blood to wash off their hand and blame someone else.
    Yes, the word gets out that not is GB soft and foolish but Ireland, too.
    Albanians are very efficient at organising: the drugs trade, that is (amongst other nation building ‘professions’.


  7. There is nothing so foolish as a society of a common people with a common faith and an established order throwing the doors open to the whole world and letting in absolute chaos. It is a crime from which a nation may never recover. It is even worse to do it all at once and to the people who rightfully call that land home and whose ancestors did for centuries. Help heal the world in their own homelands.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *