148. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason there has been no refugee resettlement program in Dublin to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7767/18]


Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Government established a Taskforce in September 2015 to manage and coordinate the logistical aspects of resettling people in Ireland under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP). Minister Charles Flanagan T.D. and I participate in the Taskforce which is composed of key Government Departments, State Agencies and non-State actors.
Concern was expressed by the Taskforce at the difficulty in identifying suitable social housing solutions in the main urban centres due to the high demand for housing and the limited supply available in these locations. It was agreed by the Taskforce that a Housing Sub-Group would be established to co-ordinate the provision of medium to long-term housing accommodation for the people arriving under the IRPP relocation and resettlement programmes.
This sub-Group was comprised of the following members: -
- Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government
- City and County Management Association
- Department of Justice and Equality
- Irish Red Cross.
The sub-Group prepared an approach for resettling people arriving under the IRPP according to a series of objective criteria including the population size of the county into which they were to be resettled.  The Taskforce adopted this approach and decided to exclude the Dublin local authorities (and other local authorities with responsibility for major urban areas) from the initial distribution of refugees into accommodation sourced by the local authorities because of the pressure on housing supply in those areas.  This decision may be reviewed by the Taskforce in the future. 
However, it should be noted that the Irish Red Cross coordinates a programme of voluntarily pledged accommodation for people arriving under the IRPP.  Pledged accommodation is sourced in urban areas across Ireland, including in Dublin.  So far 26 persons have been accommodated in Dublin through this option and I anticipate that further persons will be accommodated in Dublin in the months ahead.