The Irish Refugee Council has raised concerns about the supports in place for refugees who are relocated to rural areas across Ireland.
CEO Sue Conlan says more support and extra resources are needed in rural areas where refugees are being relocated.
She said: “The worst I’ve heard of is when they sent 18 families to Mallow in Co Cork, the department hadn’t set up in advance the support services that were needed”
Ms Conlan said the families were “moved in under the cover of darkness because they thought there would be a reaction against it”, but this did not happen and neighbours came out to welcome them.
But she said there was no one there to show the families where the local facilities were.
“There was simply housing available and that’s not sufficient particularly when you’re relatively new in a country and you don’t speak the language.
“It’s not the way to enable people to settle and for local people to be engaged in the process,” she said.
The Government has committed to taking in 4,000 refugees altogether under EU and UN relocation programmes.
Ireland pledged to accept 2,622 migrants from Greece and Italy under the EU’s relocation plan, but only one family of ten have arrived so far.
Separately, 520 refugees were due in Ireland under “the refugee resettlement programme” and 273 of those have arrived to date.
The Department of Justice said that a decision has yet to be taken on how the remaining refugees will be brought into the country.
Yesterday, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the programmes would be extended to 2017 due to the delay in the arrival of people coming to Ireland.
The department said the slow pace of the relocation programmes is mainly due to difficulties getting migrants to register in Italy and Greece.
But it said the pace of relocation is due to pick up and said Greek officials say around 30 to 50 people will be arriving in Ireland every eight weeks.