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All Irish Counties Hosting Refugees; In Claire, 12 out of 100 are Ukrainians 

Dublin: Ireland is grappling with the increasing flow of refugees and immigration issues, which have become significant challenges for the country. The diplomatic dispute with the UK over refugees has further intensified the political debate. In recent years, Ireland has experienced record-breaking numbers of refugees, with figures continuing to rise.

Refugees have settled in both rural and urban areas across the country, with many counties now hosting a significant percentage of their population as refugees. Reception centres and emergency accommodation facilities are operational in all parts of Ireland, with refugees present in every county.

High Concentration of Ukrainian Refugees in Clare
According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), 12 out of every 100 people in Clare are Ukrainian refugees. Since February 2022, over 100,000 Ukrainians have arrived in Ireland, predominantly settling in rural and western areas such as Kerry, Leitrim, Donegal, and Clare.

However, there are allegations that refugees from other countries are entering Ireland under the guise of being Ukrainian. Thousands of illegal immigrants from countries like Palestine, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are reportedly being included in the lists of Ukrainian refugees.

Refugee Distribution and Asylum Application Surge
The Galway City Local Authority has the highest concentration of refugees, making up 1.5% of the population, followed by Donegal (1.2%) and Kilkenny (0.1%).

Despite the ongoing refugee crisis, government leaders, including Prime Minister Simon Harris, continue to promote immigration without thoroughly evaluating the current situation.

In 2022, there was a 415% increase in asylum applications compared to 2021 and an 186% increase compared to 2019. There were 13,651 applicants for international protection in 2022 and 13,277 in 2023. The UK’s Rwanda scheme announcement has led to a significant surge in asylum applications in recent months.

In March 2024 alone, 1,821 asylum applications were received, compared to 858 in March 2023. From January to the end of April 2024, around 6,500 refugees arrived in Ireland, double the number from the same period in 2023 (3,100).

Demographics and Accommodation Crisis
Men constitute 35% of the refugees, with the rest being children, couples, women, and single parents. In April 2024 alone, more than 460 children arrived. This influx has exacerbated the accommodation crisis for refugees.

Increase in IPAS Users
International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS), part of the Department of Integration, provides accommodation through various facilities, including reception centres, emergency accommodations, the City West Transit Hub, and tented accommodations. Currently, more than 30,000 individuals are being accommodated. Due to the severe accommodation crisis, housing for single men has been banned.

Tent and Protest Issues
Another issue arose when refugee men pitched tents around Dublin, which were demolished twice. Over 200 individuals were subsequently relocated to City West and Crooksling. Widespread protests against refugee centres have occurred, with incidents of arson targeting refugee buildings in various locations.

The number of Ukrainian refugees has significantly decreased since the government reduced allowances. The weekly allowance for refugees was cut from €220 to €38.80, and accommodation for new arrivals from Ukraine has been limited to 90 days.

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