Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Muireann Duffy

Government ministers will discuss proposals to house Ukrainian refugees in temporary mass accommodation at a Cabinet meeting later today.

According to the latest figures, just under 25,000 refugees have already arrived in Ireland from Ukraine, approximately 85 per cent of whom are women and children.

According to The Irish Times, places in hotel accommodation are quickly filling up, with around 300 refugees expected to be placed in emergency mass accommodation in the Millstreet Arena in Cork later this week.

Addressing the UN Security Council in New York on Tuesday evening, Minister for Defence Simon Coveney urged Russia to agree to an immediate ceasefire.

Mr Coveney told the meeting that what he saw during a recent visit to Bucha in Ukraine was “profoundly shocking”.

As Russian troops retreated eastward to focus their offensive on the Donbas region, hundreds of civilian casualties were discovered in Bucha, many killed by gunshot wounds and some of which are thought to have been shot with their hands tied behind their back, prompting widespread condemnation for Russia.

“While I was [in Bucha], there had been, I think, 503 bodies taken out of the mass graves,” Mr Coveney told the Security Council.

“There were only four soldiers – the rest were men, women and children who were not combatants, but many of whom were tortured, brutalised, some raped, and killed. I think those images speak for themselves.”

Mr Coveney said Ireland will not remain silent on the “senseless and devastating” war in Ukraine, adding that the Security Council cannot afford to remain silent either.

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