The site of Ireland’s Electric Picnic music festival is being converted into a temporary home for nearly 1,000 refugees from Ukraine.
Now that last weekend’s Electric Picnic has concluded, workers have been building hundreds of tents at the festival site in Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland.
According to Ireland’s Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY), the plot will house refugees for a six-week period, effective today, September 5.
Individuals on-site will receive hot meals, medical attention, hot water, showers, and restroom facilities.
Following a contractual agreement between landowners and the Irish government, tent accommodations are being set up across the property and are expected to hit full capacity by the end of the week.
A DCEDIY spokesperson told the BBC that up to 500 refugees could arrive from Ukraine in the coming weeks.
“The summer months have seen an increase in the number of arrivals from Ukraine, with more than 10,000 people fleeing here since May 1, an average of around 650 people per week,” they said.
According to the DCEDIY, close to 70,000 people have fled the Ukraine to seek refuge in Ireland since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February of last year. Ireland has also welcomed an additional 22,000 refugees from other countries since 2021.
“It is expected that, from next week, tented accommodation will be the primary source of accommodation for new arrivals from Ukraine,” the organization said.
The DCEDIY also shared that a “small number” of new arrivals from Ukraine are already being housed in tents and that particularly vulnerable parties will receive priority to be placed in non-tented housing if availability permits.