The State must reduce its reliance on private accommodation for refugees and develop State-owned accommodation, Minister Roderic O’Gorman is expected to tell Cabinet this afternoon.
Ministers will meet in Farmleigh House for an “away day” for a series of Cabinet meetings.
The first half of the day will be dedicated to typical weekly Government business, while the second half will see ministers discuss their priorities for the first half of 2023.
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Minister O’Gorman is expected to outline the challenges facing the State on accommodation for International Protection applicants and those fleeing Ukraine. He will state his view that Ireland has done well in handling the 70,000 Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Ireland.
However, Ministers will hear that the sourcing of accommodation is becoming increasingly difficult. There is an expectation that many hotels currently under contract with the Department of Children will revert to the tourism trade in March and April.
Minister O’Gorman is expected to tell his colleagues that he believes that the State needs to reduce its reliance on private providers and develop State-owned accommodation, increase community engagement and provide improved support for integration.
Tourism Minister Catherine Martin is expected to say that one of her main priorities for the new year is managing the sector, including accommodation spaces, supports for the sector and incoming visitor numbers.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan is expected to outline several priorities for both the Department of Transport and the Department of the Environment, including an emphasis on off-shore wind and the continued roll-out of public transport and active travel infrastructure.
Elsewhere, Health Minister Stephen will provide an update on the situation in Emergency Departments during the Cabinet meeting.
He will also update ministers on the MPOX vaccination programme. To date, there have been 227 cases notified in Ireland. There were no new cases declared in the last two weeks of 2022.
A vaccination programme continues with appointments available up to the end of February. As Of January 1, just under 5,000 people had received a jab. The HSE believes that between 6,000 and 12,000 could benefit from the vaccine programme but mass vaccination is currently not required nor recommended.
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