Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice Jim O’ Callaghan has said that asylum seekers should not be exposed to long term stays in emergency accommodation as costs of emergency accommodation soar.

According to new figures the spend on emergency accommodation from January to the end of September totals €18 million – or an average of €462,046 per week.

In a written Dáil reply to Deputy O’Callaghan, the Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan stated that there are currently 1,453 applicants residing in 35 emergency accommodation locations around the country.

Deputy O’Callaghan said: “Asylum seekers should not be exposed to long term stays in emergency accommodation. The State should identify any State property that can be used for the purpose of providing accommodation for asylum seekers as a matter of urgency.

“We need to see proper engagement from the government in looking into appropriate long-term housing solutions for asylum seekers. We can see from the high expenditure figures on emergency accommodation that a more coherent solution is badly needed,” concluded Deputy O’Callaghan.