Last week we heard that close to 300 Ukrainians are living in Leitrim and “bus loads” more of those fleeing war will be seeking refuge in this county over the coming weeks.
Sinn Féin Deputy Martin Kenny told the paper this week, that there are many more Ukrainians to come. He said local authorities are being told to find community centres and buildings to temporarily shelter “busloads of people arriving daily into Dublin.” He said some families are now sleeping on the floors of community centres and do not have basic facilities such as showers.
The Irish Government have been informed that an extra 5,000 beds will be needed for Ukrainian refugees before Easter as approx 580 Ukrainians are arriving into Ireland every day.
A spokesperson for Leitrim County Council said, “Local Authorities have been asked by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) to coordinate the community lead response in the provision of assistance and support to Ukrainian refugees as they are accommodated around the country. In Leitrim, the Community Response Forum brings together the public, private, community and voluntary stakeholders to ensure that Ukrainians arriving in our communities here in Leitrim are able to access the relevant services and supports.
Last week Leitrim County Council was requested by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) to identify properties that were suitable for the provision of emergency accommodation beds . The Council identified two properties in Drumshanbo and Ballinamore that were deemed to be suitable for this emergency accommodation. The Department, through the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS), is responsible for allocating refugees to these properties and they engage directly with the property owners in this regard. A number of refugees were allocated to both properties over the course of the weekend.
“Through the Community Response Forum, we continue to identify other potential properties and venues which may be suitable for temporary emergency accommodation. Properties that are deemed suitable are notified to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY).”