07 Jul 2022

In Pictures: Ukrainians in Limerick gather at new 'hub' to watch big soccer match

A LIMERICK city centre pub turned a sea of yellow and blue this week, as Ukrainian fans gathered to watch their soccer team take on Ireland.

Sexton's Pub in Henry Street played host to members of the Ukrainian community, who came to Limerick following their country's invasion by Russia.

There was friendly rivalry between local Irish fans, and supporters of the eastern European nation's national side who have already beaten Scotland and Armenia in the last few weeks.

Of course, the blue-and-yellows also secured a famous 1-0 victory at the Aviva Stadium earlier this month.

But in the return game, played in the Polish city of Łódź, because of the ongoing war in Ukraine, it was Ireland who took the lead following a mazy run and shot from Nathan Collins. Artem Dovbyk cancelled this strike out just after half time. And all-square it stayed.

It didn't ruin the atmosphere in the pub, with staff at Sexton's laying on free food for the supporters.

The night was organised by local businessman Derrick Amrein who runs Chisel and Oak in O'Curry Street - which is also being used as a hub to support Limerick's newest residents from Ukraine.

Initially, Chisel and Oak sent 120 pallets of donations to Ukraine including clothing and emergency hospital equipment.

Then, around 12 weeks ago, Mr Amrein opened the hub where clothes are given out  and food is cooked by the Limerick Youth Service each morning and given to refugees.

On top of this, the hub is linking up with jobs fairs in order to offer employment to these refugees in the hospitality trade.

A variety of activities take place throughout the week including knitting, physiotherapy, counselling, meditation Tai Chi classes are hosted.

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