1 June 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Aindrias Moynihan: Urgent action needed to free up holiday accommodation
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork North West, Aindrias Moynihan, has called on the Minister for Tourism to act immediately to ensure there will be enough hotel and associated accommodation availability for tourists in Ireland this summer.
Deputy Moynihan’s call comes after a question to the Minister in the Dáil. The Cork North West TD commented, “There needs to be urgent measures brought in now to alleviate pressure on hotel availability for tourism given that many rooms will be allocated for emergency accommodation this summer.
“There is a dramatic shortage of hotel/B&B/Guesthouse/AirBnB accommodation for holiday makers across the country and the supply available is being priced extortionately. Without intervention it is likely the tourism industry will suffer once again, just months after two years of closures and tough restrictions due to the pandemic.”
Deputy Moynihan added: “We need an urgent response that will support the industry and do everything possible to free up accommodation for tourists.”
In response, Minister Catherine Martin stated: “The immediate emergency and accommodation needs of people arriving in Ireland as a result of the war in Ukraine will continue to be met by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the International Protection Accommodation Services through hotel and guest house accommodation, holiday homes and pledges which includes pledges by Local Authorities and Approved Housing Bodies as well as through use of vacant buildings where minor or no refurbishment is required.”
The Minister continued: “My Department and Fáilte Ireland continue to work with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to identify longer term options beyond the hotel accommodation sector. Tourism sector accommodation is an important component of Ireland’s response to housing people from Ukraine but it is a short-term, responsive element rather than a long-term solution.”
Additionally, Deputy Moynihan was informed that the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is leading cross government consideration and development of medium and long-term accommodation solutions including a cross-sectoral and cross-departmental Humanitarian Crisis Housing Taskforce. The taskforce has met several times including with the construction and development sectors.
The Cork North West TD was also told that all local authorities are very actively engaged in supporting the national response to the provision of emergency accommodation for Ukrainian refugees, with many directly operating emergency accommodation centres and staff being diverted from other activities they carry out on behalf of Government to facilitate this response.