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02 Jul 2022

West Limerick helps Ukrainians at home and in their native land

West Limerick helps Ukrainians at home and in their native land

Muireann and Sheila Donovan, Tom Noonan, Luke Corrigan, Christina Mackessy and Kay Ryan sorting supplies for Ukrainan in Ardagh | PICTURE: Marie Keating

SINCE mid-March West Limerick has become home to many Ukrainians fleeing the war. There are now three centres in Ardagh, Foynes and Pallaskenry who have welcomed individuals and families and are working to support them.

West Limerick Resources through its Social Inclusion & Community Activation programme (SICAP) is co-ordinating the localised support and response and is supported by 22 services and agencies in an effort to streamline the work and ensure that accurate information is being given to all who have arrived here.

“We have been to each site, provided the necessary information packs, but we also have a piece of work to do to connect with and support the dispersed population; those who are being kindly hosted by individuals and families in West Limerick,” said Dearbhla Conlon Ahern, SICAP co-ordinator.

“We would love to hear from these people to ensure that they also receive the translated information packs for those they are supporting, but also for the peer support for the host families as they too navigate the days ahead.”

Ardagh, through its development association and St Kieran’s GAA, put out a call for clothing, toys, books in March and the response was fantastic.

They are still supporting the Ukrainian community as they settle here.

“We have a wide range of items for the Ukrainian community free of charge to help them get settled, support their children, as many came with just the bag on their back,” said David Woulfe, chairman of St Kieran’s GAA who have worked closely with Ardagh Development Association, in particular Deirdre Ambrose.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who came and supported us, those who donated clothing, books, toys, bikes and those who helped to organise the space, sort and fold the items into size and age-appropriate bundles. It has been a very busy few weeks,” he added.

People also dug deep with cash donations and supported the GoFundMe page.

“From this we have been able to purchase emergency items for all Ukrainian arriving and we were able to send €10,000 worth of humanitarian and medical supplies to Ukraine which was the strong wish of the Ukrainian community in Cahermoyle,” said David.

The hall in Ardagh is almost at full storage capacity but donations of summer clothing, footwear for ladies and children and bikes are welcomed.

The resources, as described by David, are available to all Ukrainians in the community, so if there are host families or Ukrainians living independently looking to access items contact Dearbhla. 

Email dconlon@wlr.ie or ring 069 66293 to find out about supports available.

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