The Irish Refugee Council launches its 2022 Impact Report today Monday 27 March. The Report reflects on the huge impact the organisation had in 2022: an exceptional year which saw a significant increase in the number of people seeking protection in Ireland. Headline statistics include:   

  • Direct and substantial support to 11,000 people compared to 3,000 people in 2021, an increase of 267%.   
  • The organisation’s helplines received 24,000 calls compared to 15,000 in 2021 a 60% increase, and 5,000 email queries from 600 in 2021, up by 733%.   

The statistics reflect the increasing needs of people seeking international protection in Ireland. The report is in the context of a further deterioration in the rights of people seeking protection in early 2023 as more than 355 people are currently homeless and without accommodation.  

Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council, thanked the Irish public for their support:   

“In a year of records, we should remember that behind every number there is a person. From the young mother from Ukraine alone with her toddler, to the man fleeing political persecution in Eritrea with the simple aspiration of seeking safety, all come to Ireland with hope. It is our mission to help all people in this situation. We are indebted to Irish society for supporting us in delivering our work throughout 2022. The invaluable support we received and continue to receive has allowed us to be there for the people we work with through one of the most challenging times in our 30 years of existence.” 

He paid tribute to the people the organisation supports:   

“At the centre of each call made, an email sent, or a visit made to our office is a story of resilience, a cry for help. We work with people who had families, vocations, and everything that makes home before their circumstances changed and they had to leave their country. Nevertheless, they hold the hope, even distantly, that one day they will be able to return. Practically, their immediate need is an international protection system that protects their rights and dignity; a system that facilitates their integration efficiently so they can fully contribute, be independent and give back to society.” 

Reflecting on the current homeless crisis he said:   

“The environment we work in continues to be challenging. The basic rights of people in the international protection process remain unmet in many ways. The number of homeless international protection applicants continues to grow: 355 people are currently without accommodation. This is a grave and deteriorating situation that requires all of government attention. We acknowledge the challenges faced by the Government, but it does not remove the legal obligation to provide accommodation to international protection applicants, which the State has been in violation of for over two months now. The continuous deterioration of standards in reception centres, homelessness and the far-right rise present a darker reality for people seeking protection as we journey through 2023.  

We reiterate recommendations made in our October Accommodation Report that there is a need for an all-of-government approach, a robust communication plan and investments towards supporting transition from Direct Provision. It is also imperative that the Government appoints a Refugee Response Director and Inspector of Emergency, Transit and Tent Accommodation.” 

Download 2022 Impact Report

Notes for editors:   

  • Our Impact Report can be downloaded here.   
  • October 2022 Accommodation Crisis report can be downloaded here.  
  • Our Independent Law Centre provided legal support to 146 new clients; 67 students in Higher and Tertiary Education received financial support through our Education Fund and a further 64 supported to receive state or university funding. At least 80 people were accommodated under our model housing programme, ‘A Place to Call Home’, and supported 236 people more who were facing homelessness.  In addition, 20 women were supported into sustainable employment and 30 in various upskilling programmes while eight groups were supported to welcome 38 refugees from Syria and Afghanistan under Community Sponsorship. 

For further information or comments, contact: 

Nick Henderson (CEO) 085 858 5559/ [email protected] 

Wendy Muperi (Communications Officer) 085 855 0434/ [email protected]