Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and his partner Matt Barrett have been hosting a Ukrainian refugee at their home in Dublin since last month.
“It’s going very well, she’s a private individual,” Varadkar said on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show on Wednesday, June 15.
“We haven’t really discussed how we’d handle media queries yet,” he said with a laugh.
He continued: “It’s something that Matt and I decided we’d like to do. [We] weren’t able to do it in the past because we were in an apartment and the second bedroom was effectively our storage space but now that we have a house, we’re able to help and we’re happy to do so.
“I really feel for what people in Ukraine are experiencing, and this is a small thing that we can do to help out and we’re happy to do it,” he added.
People in Ireland can pledge accommodation - spare rooms or vacant properties - for Ukrainian refugees through the Irish Red Cross, which is working with the Irish Government to match people who have accommodation to offer with refugees who have come to Ireland.
In May, the Irish Government approved a monthly flat rate Recognition Payment of €400 per property in respect of individual properties, shared or vacant. The payment will be conditional on a minimum time commitment for hosting (6 months), with payments continuing for hosting arrangements beyond this timeframe.
How many Ukrainian refugees are now in Ireland?
According to Ireland's Central Statistics Office (CSO), there were 35,670 arrivals from Ukraine in Ireland by the week ending June 5, an increase of just over 2,500 in two weeks.
There were 35,670 arrivals from Ukraine in Ireland by the week ending 05 June 2022, an increase of just over 2,500 in two weekshttps://t.co/3YvmirctfF#CSOIreland #Ireland #Population #Ukraine #Refugees #UkrainianArrivals #Migration #MigrationEstimates pic.twitter.com/OFCumxWgyv— Central Statistics Office Ireland (@CSOIreland) June 10, 2022
Of that figure, 48% were women aged 20 and over, while 37% were individuals aged 0-19, both male and female. The highest percentage of those arriving (42% or 14,929 individuals) were categorized as 'one parent with children' under the broad relationship classification headings used. The CSO notes that spouses/partners may have stayed in Ukraine.
Arrivals from Ukraine are now present in all of Ireland's Local Electoral Areas, the CSO says. Dublin's North Inner City had the highest number of associated arrivals from Ukraine at 1,304.
6,824 arrivals from Ukraine have enrolled in schools as of June 7 - 70% of that figure are in primary schools and the remaining 30% are in secondary schools. Dublin has the highest number of children enrolled in schools at 1,194 while Monaghan had the lowest at 21.