Accommodation crisis presses controversial ‘floatels’ option

Published date25 May 2023
Publication titleIrish Times (Dublin, Ireland)
, it's clear they're having an impact

However, the nature of the refugee crisis means that more beds will be needed, sooner or later. Which is where floatels may come in.

Haven't we seen this suggested before?

Yes. Several times, in fact. The use of cruise ships, specifically, was first mooted at the start of the crisis but was turned down by the Government then, despite several approaches from private sector operators.

So what's happening now?

Around a month ago, the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) - the unit in the Department of Integration that looks after housing for asylum seekers - quietly approached some ports and asked them if they could take floatels or cruise ships. Around this time, the rhetoric in Government began to shift, with reports suggesting there was a newfound openness to the use of these vessels.

On Tuesday, the department confirmed that it expects to issue a tender. That's expected during the summer. It marks the firmest commitment to date from the Government to consider the use of the vessels.

Where might these ships be?

There's three sites mentioned in dispatches: Sir John Rogerson's Quay in Dublin (specifically, the eastern end, sources say - which is closer to the East Link bridge and further from the city centre), and in Cork, Penrose Quay and Horgan's Quay. These are all centrally located berths, so could meet some of the logistical challenges associated with hosting these facilities. More on that below.

What kind of vessels are we talking about?

Cruise ships are most often mentioned - but in reality, as Minister for Integration Roderic O'Gorman outlined during the week, there's not a huge amount of places in Ireland that can handle large ships like this. It seems more likely that floating barges would be the solution - basically a platform with a...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT