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Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
Tipperary County Council Civic Offices, Clonmel | Civic Offices, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary

Conflict in Ukraine – Humanitarian Crisis & Refugees

I refer to enquiries from elected members and the public in relation to the ongoing war in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis that has emerged as a direct consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We have received numerous enquiries as to the role of Tipperary County Council in relation to refugees from Ukraine coming to Ireland. Correspondence has been received from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage to-date confirming the following:

  • The government, its departments and agencies are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine together with Ireland’s EU and other international partners and are providing political and practical support to Ukraine. Visa requirements between Ukraine and Ireland have been lifted. This applies as an emergency measure to all those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine and travelling to Ireland.
  • On March 3rd 2022, the Council of the European Union enacted the Temporary Protection Directive (Council Directive 2001/55/EC) in response to refugees arriving in the EU from Ukraine.
    The enactment of the Directive means persons fleeing the conflict in Ukraine will have access to a “temporary protection status” in EU Member States.

Immediate Accommodation Needs

  • The department (DHLGH) is involved in cross-government discussions, led by the Department of Children, Equality, disability, Integration and Youth, reviewing options to meet the temporary accommodation needs of those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine and coming to Ireland.
  • Arrangements are under way by the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) to receive those fleeing the conflict into IPAS accommodation either directly from airports to IPAS or to family and from there to IPAS. We are awaiting details on an IPAS contact number. In the interim, we have been provided with the following email address in respect of any queries from people (or their relatives/ friends) who have arrived in Ireland as a result of the conflict - ipasinbox@equality.gov.ie
  • Where those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine present to the local authority rather than to IPAS seeking assistance they will be redirected to IPAS so that their needs can be assessed and provision made for medium to long term accommodation solutions.
  • In any instance where an immediate humanitarian response is required, local authorities have been asked to use discretion and after referral to IPAS can provide temporary emergency accommodation where necessary.
  • The Red Cross has opened a portal for pledges of accommodation or related queries from members of the public at www.redcross.ie.
  • The department is considering what assistance can be provided in the longer-term for those fleeing the conflict and further meetings are scheduled in the coming days with the City and County Management Association (CCMA) to explore options.

Planning Implications of the Provision of Certain Facilities

  • The department (DHLGH) is also engaging with the department of Children, equality, Disability and Integration and other relevant Government Departments regarding the types of facilities and structures that may be required to provide accommodation for those fleeing the conflict and presenting in Ireland and the planning implications associated with the provision of any such facilities and structures.
  • There are emergency power provisions in section 181 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, to enable the non-application of the Act to certain classes of development by or on behalf of a State authority.
    These powers were recently used in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic and may be availed of again to address the accommodation and other requirements associated with managing the needs of those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

From correspondence received from the department (DHLGH) it is clear that Government will play its part in assisting Ukraine and its people It is important that the inter-departmental approach to the humanitarian crisis is supported to ensure that accommodation and all other supports required are provided in a coherent manner. Providing accommodation without other supports will not ensure a safe and supported transition for persons fleeing the conflict who will require language, financial, health and other supports over the coming months.
We will continue to update you in relation to any information received relating to the overall governmental response to the humanitarian crisis as we are advised.

Thursday, 10 March, 2022 - 16:45
General News