Authorities must keep a vigilant watch on the numbers of Ukrainian refugees arriving at Cork and Shannon Airports to ensure they can access the necessary supports, according to Fine Gael Senator Martin Conway.
Senator Conway said: “Hundreds of people fleeing the horror of violence and war in Ukraine are now arriving into Dublin Airport daily in search of refuge with the possibility of building a life for themselves and their families here in Ireland.
“People are also arriving into Cork and Shannon Airports, having embarked on flights from other countries in Eastern Europe after making an arduous journey across borders from Ukraine to get to safety.
“Some excellent work has begun and there are supports and services available to those fleeing Putin’s terror. They have lost their livelihoods and homes, but most importantly, lost or left family in Ukraine. They deserve our compassion and support here. The Irish response to date has been phenomenal.
“People fleeing Ukraine are currently being treated as Irish citizens here with access to the labour market, housing, social welfare, healthcare and other supports for up to three years under the Temporary Protection Directive.
“My colleagues, Ministers Heather Humphreys and Helen McEntee, have done phenomenal work in putting systems in place quickly to provide services and supports for the refugees of this war.
“This includes a reception facility in Dublin Airport where people can access their temporary protection letter, accommodation and information about getting a PPS number, supplementary allowance and child benefit.
“Social protection officials are working with Justice officials and interpreters in the reception area to process applications for these supports so that they can be put in place quickly.
“Current flights from Eastern Europe arriving into Shannon Airport weekly include three from Budapest, two from Kaunas, three from Krakow, two from Wroclaw and two from Warsaw. Current flights from Eastern Europe into Cork Airport weekly include two from Gdansk and two from Poznan.
“Authorities need to keep a close watch on the numbers arriving to ensure people travelling in through other ports of entry outside Dublin are met with the necessary supports and services they require.
“Accommodation is currently being provided for those people if they need it, and they are encouraged to go to their local Intreo office where they will be assisted in getting a PPS number and other allowances,” Senator Conway concluded.