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Ukrainian Refugees: What SHOULD have been done?

  • 22-04-2022 12:14pm

    Mods: This thread is not intended to mirror the Ukrainian accommodation or the Russia thread. If it evolves that way, fine, close the thread.

    However, I've seen a lot of complaining over the handling of this refugee crisis (myself included), and I'm curious what people would have done differently. The handling of the situation by the Govt has been abysmal. Considering that they have experts and advisors to draw upon, in addition to the resources (human and others) of the EU/UN, to analyse and formulate a reasonable cost effective plan to deal with the problems involved, but are scampering around like headless chickens.

    I don't intend the thread to be a govt bashing thread. We've done that to death already. Instead, for those of you interested in the situation, what do you think would have been the best action plans to implement for both Ukrainians and the Irish people. Keep in mind the problems that Ireland currently faces with the current housing crisis, inflation, and the very real possibility of a recession looming over the horizon. Also, that refugees are most likely to remain in Ireland for at least a year, and many will wish to remain in Ireland after the conflict has ended (nope, not looking for an argument over how many), thus adding to the demands for rental or purchase properties.

    I'm not expecting anyone to do extensive research to support themselves. We all have lives to live (I'm in the middle of exams).

    How would you respond to the situation? What would you seek to implement?


    For myself, I see two realistic answers.


    The provision of funding and expertise to Poland and other Eastern European countries to establish refugee camps, keeping Ukrainians close to Ukraine, but also providing adequate protection and care. Prefabs and tents can be setup relatively quickly, as there are large concentrations of NATO personnel stationed nearby with the knowledge of rapidly establishing forward operating bases, or logistics camps. Modern soldiers don't live that badly when a camp it established, so, for the short-medium period, such camps, if properly maintained, would be a realistic option. By not sending refugees throughout Western Europe, there wouldn't be the expense involved (As western nations are far more expensive in terms of living costs but also for all products and services). Basically, western money spent in Poland would go much further than any similar amount spent in Ireland. The monies saved could be poured into Eastern Europe, giving a serious stimulus to all Eastern European countries (which would improve their own economic stability, and give them the resources to improve their militaries against future conflict.) It would also serve to keep refugees close to Ukraine, and therefore easier to return after the conflict has ended. (Yes yes, Ukrainians love their country, but it was never easy for Ukrainians to get visas to EU nations, and right now, all basic visa requirements have been waived. Many will seek to remain after the conflict.. don't worry, they'll still love their country while they remain in Ireland or Germany)

    Second: Ireland.

    The government has put no cap on refugees to be accepted. Initially it was 20k, then 50, then 100, and lastly 200k. Realistically, the 50k is most likely with the current response in effect. If the govt response improves, more Ukrainians will want to come here.. that simple logic. So, 50k, women and children. Which likely means about 30k houses, rooms, or whatever. (We still have our own population to consider too). Which, regardless of how generous Irish people are, I don't believe to be practical, as it involves providing for people for 6m-1yr+. Sharing with strangers is difficult enough in normal times, never mind, people who are coming from a warzone. There's bound to be heaps of problems, and the numbers offering to help will drop. That's no judgment on those people involved... it's just the way I see it.

    Now, I've spent a lot of time living in China, and Asia in general... and while the general quality of buildings is low compared to Ireland (in some areas), they're also put up extremely fast. If we're wanting quickly built units to last a decade or so, then, the difference in quality doesn't really matter.

    For example, this 10-story apartment block was built in 29 hours. Now, from experience, I'm always very sceptical when it comes to China, and what Chinese companies do, but considering we're in something of a crisis here, similar investments could be a viable solution. I can remember Apartment complexes being built near to my own apartment, and being essentially finished in three months. That being four apartment towers, with roughly 24 floors (usually 4 apartments per floor, and two floors below ground for parking).

    "In April last year, a Chinese construction company Broad Sustainable Building claimed itself to be the world’s fastest builder after erecting a 57-storey skyscraper in just 19 working days. "

    Surely, such a thing would be an option?

    Alternatively, I was thinking of the boarding school I attended for Irish college which had three large buildings which communally held, I dunno, a hundred students or more. No real reason that similar dormitory style buildings couldn't be built to house Ukrainians in a particular area, which has the advantage of encouraging their community to be together. The old communist-era style apartment blocks are another option, with a similar setup.

    In terms of land, NAMA still holds roughly 577 hectares of residential development land. And then, there's a rake of other land held by the government institutions would could redirected to such projects.


    The advantage of all this would be to have some alternatives to temporarily house Irish people (until they find their own place) once the Ukrainians go home.

    In conclusion, don't turn this into a bitching session, and while you might want to do a Gotcha post to nitpick at peoples suggestions, perhaps refrain yourself? I know it's hard, but let's see a thread that talks about what's possible rather than people **** on others opinions. Something different on CA.

    Lastly, let's stick to reality. Remember that money doesn't grow on trees. Leave out the SpaceX colonies on Mars.

    So, what would you have liked to see done by the government? What would have been the best response to the crisis (let's not talk about joining NATO, stick to the refugee angle)?




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,600 ✭✭✭ mikethecop

    your name should be captain hindsight .....

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭ Fandymo

    I would agree on your point A. There should have been vast EU/NATO camps set up within the north of Ukraine or in neighbouring countries.

    The Irish government have brought in Ukrainians who had connections and accomodation sorted in Ireland. It should have asked for pledges of accomodation and worked on a database of suitable, livable places and brought in the numbers as they came online. It would be an ongoing, evolving thing, so numbers could have started arriving almost immediately.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,242 ✭✭✭ brokenangel

    A war started. It is great a few weeks after the war has started and the people are in Ireland to come with idea's of what should have been done

    The thread would have made more sense at the time

    Unfortunately the government doesn't realise the Ireland of a thousands welcomes doesn't really exist anymore. More people are interested in seeing Ukraine people either die at home or sit on the street in Ireland so they can complain about the government than do anything.

    The posts on the other thread from some posters, you would swear Ireland was importing thousands of mass murders

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭ Fandymo

    Ireland of the 1000 welcomes was a commercial slogan, like Just Do It, I'm Lovin' It, The Fightin' Irish, Because I'm Worth It.

    It's not reality.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 187 ✭✭ gladvimpaker

    It's great putting a roof over their heads and giving them food and medicine etc

    But theres no thought about their mental health such as being shell shocked and post traumatic experiences. People who are dealing with people coming from a war need to get help adjusting to looking after the traumatized people too.

    They're not going to be all sunshine lollipops and rainbows, and people will be accomadating people who are stressed, probably having nightmares and homesick. Its great to accomadate them but their spirit will be shattered...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,450 ✭✭✭ Nermal

    What should have been done: relocate refugees fleeing proxy wars to the nations that are most actively pursuing them.

  • Okay, mods. I was wrong. Seems all threads go the same way as the other ones already here.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,421 ✭✭✭✭ Strumms

    Problem is The Ukraine is a population of around 44 million people….

    if 20-25 million or whatever are going to be looking to relocate….temporarily or full time as the UN suggested…

    there is no way to support some of that without major pain and consequences, difficulty, disruption and disturbance being administered onto the taxpayers, native populations etc…. Just no way around it. No real ‘should have done’.. it’s being done.

    I’m very fearful for the EU but this country, genuinely… we have a shortage of GPs AND hospital consultants according to the IMO and NTPD there is currently an average of 0.69 GPs per 1000 population, when it should be between 1.02 and 1.1. per 1000. Also 1600 consultants short yet this invitation…comes complete with a medical card for everyone…!?!

    what should have been done is cut our cloth to suit our measure..put a cap on x number… now there is and will be ZERO cap according to McEntee yesterday.

    does she give a fûck ? Nope… not one element of her life will be impacted. Decisions are being made to impinge on our wellbeing…to enable that of others…

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,600 ✭✭✭ mikethecop

  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭ chuchuchu

    its not in Irish politicians nature to plan ahead, always wait for the last minute to react and come up some half baked plan that never works

  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 68,929 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Beasty

    OP one thing I think is worth highlighting here is the opportunity to deal with the housing crisis while retaining scope for further increases in population.

    There does seem to be a fundamental issue with Ireland's planning laws. However this is an opportunity to force through the commitments to deliver 30k+ housing units a year.

    I realise there is the immediate issue of refugees to handle. Hopefully that becomes a short to medium term issue. I know some refugees will want to stay in Ireland once this war is over. Indeed many have nothing to go back to anyway. I do not think this has to be a negative though. Many refugees already in Ireland are from professions that require talent and/or skill. Add to that some of the men currently fighting this war and we may then have a stronger workforce able to put in place some of that accommodation, some of the schools required, some of the hospital and other medical resources required.

    Kids being forced into a foreign school system may well be in position to contribute significantly to society over time.

    I'm not downplaying the short term issues this all brings. We all unfortunately will face some short term pain as a result of this conflict. However it's also an opportunity to plan for some long term gain. I'm not saying we must do that planning now either. There are more fundamental short term issues resulting from this war. However let's see if we can ultimately get some positives to try and counterbalance some of the negatives

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Complete and utter tripe! For the past three years, every Irish politician has been planning how to retain their Dáil, Seanad or Council seat!

    However, it's not the job of our elected politicians to plan ahead for emergencies, rather their job is to ensure that the necessary structures are in place to plan for different types of emergency and that they are operating efficiently.

    In Ireland the body responsible for overall co-ordination is called the Office of Emergency Planning which comes under the Minister for Defence. It can call upon representatives from all of the bodies that will be involved with responding to various types of emergencies, and, in the case of the Ukranian refugees, it has been working with a wide range of public bodies to ensure that, to the best of their ability, the reception and processing of these refugees is proceeding smoothly. For me, it's been doing a pretty good job given the timeframe and numbers involved.

  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭ chuchuchu

    yeah a good job in the midst of an ongoing housing crisis to say we can take in an unlimited amount of people

  • OP one thing I think is worth highlighting here is the opportunity to deal with the housing crisis while retaining scope for further increases in population.

    Completely agree.

  • You raise some very good points.

    We need to look at the positives. If half the refugees decide to stay in Ireland, no doubt most will gain employment and bring skills that are badly needed.

    The ones I’ve come across find our society so different to their own. Not least the difference in the cost of living!

    Opportunities often arise from crises. Hopefully this will be the case for Ireland.

    For now, all we can do is offer them shelter until it’s safe for them to return home or they settle down in Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,726 ✭✭✭ MacDanger

    I think the govt are doing a reasonably good job wrt refugees

  • Registered Users Posts: 497 ✭✭ PalLimerick

    How do you know what professions the refugees have? My guess is you don't. Your post is full of you assuming.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭ Fandymo

    Like all of those "Syrian" doctors and engineers we got. Lucky us!!

  • If half the refugees decide to stay in Ireland, no doubt most will gain employment and bring skills that are badly needed.

    How? Ukraine is a 2nd world nation, with the worst economy in Europe, and has had serious issues with corruption within it's educational system. So.. what are these skills that are badly needed? And where are all the jobs for them? Ireland's economy is heavily focused on skilled labour. We don't have any substantial manufacturing base like Germany, and our Agricultural industry has been struggling for decades. The hospitality sector is crying out for labour but work standards are low, job security is awful, and pay is low... (which means that potential employees will still need welfare supplements for living expenses). Where are all these jobs that Ukrainians will be filling, bearing in mind that most are women/children?

    We're entering the post covid period, and Ireland has had two years of businesses closing. That includes British companies in Ireland which left due to Brexit. There hasn't been any major increase in business development over the last few years, so.. all these new jobs will be coming from where? Never mind, the imminent recession that was delayed by covid, but will arrive with twice or three times the impact because the issues of debt financing, covid, and now the Ukrainian conflict have happened...

    Opportunities often arise from crises. Hopefully this will be the case for Ireland

    Sure, but not by looking at the positives. That's been done to death in this country over the last two decades. It's why the HSE has been failing for years.. focus on the positives, ignore the negatives. The same can be said for dozens of other real problems within Irish society and the economy.

    We need to take a serious look at the realities of the situation that Ireland is in, and that means looking at the negatives. And then, find cost-effective practical solutions (not a short-term band-aid plaster) to them, without adding ever more strain on the current infrastructure.

  • Registered Users Posts: 889 ✭✭✭ Viscount Aggro

    Part of his goal is to destabilise the EU project, via massive refugee migrations.

  • I know by talking to them in the centre where I volunteer. Amazing what one can learn through face to face interaction. Mind you, Google Translate is often called on, though some have pretty good English.

  • Registered Users Posts: 491 ✭✭ B2021M

    What of what the OP said couldn't have been clearly envisaged when this began?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,476 ✭✭✭ TomTomTim

    Some people really don't think before they speak. If you hadn't noticed most refugees end up here because Western actions in other nations, not Russian, and the EU itself has done everything it can to allow this to continue. So are the EU trying to destroy themselves too?

    “The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone else. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and made a mountain out of a molehill--he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it.”- ― Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭ chuchuchu

    EU has nothing to do with military operations at least not yet. So should Ireland guilt itself into taking refugees despite it not been involved in any 'western action in other nations'?

  • Registered Users Posts: 36,645 ✭✭✭✭ Annasopra

    I think our housing authorities dont really know what to do in ordinary times at all and handing them the responsibility to locate housing was in some cases disastrous. I would personally have got the aid agencies much more involved in that process.

    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone's fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I'm one of Us. I must be. I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things.

    Terry Pratchet

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ Brucie Bonus

    We, people, supposedly have analysts in every nation paid a large wedge to draw up reports and the like to prepare for certain scenarios.

    After Putin invaded crimea further incursions must have presented itself as a possibility.

    In Ireland, even with a two or three years heads up we always seem to be unprepared and acting like headless chickens.

    Next winter whoever the minister of health is will be surprised by the numbers of people on trolleys. Its tradition.

    We should have been prepared for the number of refugees we said we'd take. Simple, one would think.

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  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 68,929 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Beasty

    Simple to those with great hindsight maybe

    Who on earth could have anticipated something like this? Really?

    I suspect Trump was completely detached from reality when it came to Putin. However why are we only now finding out this situation was even possibly going to arise?

    Why didn't the EU or the UK warn us of this impending doom? It appears some in Ireland knew all about it. Why didn't the rest of the World (and indeed me)?