Limerick opens doors to Ukrainians fleeing war

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Doras chief executive John Lannon

LIMERICK businesses and organisations are ramping up their efforts to help people fleeing the war in Ukraine, with one business appealing for donations of children’s clothes and equipment to fill a bus that will bring 40 women and children back to Limerick on the return journey.

Dennehy Motors on the Dock Road has set aside space in their showrooms to gather donations of children’s clothes and necessities, while business owner, Rory Dennehy and his brother John are making plans to travel to the Polish/Ukrainian border and bring refugees back to Ireland.

They are also asking Limerick people to offer accommodation to the traumatised arrivals.

A spokesperson for the endeavour said: “The Red Cross is tell us that the need for children’s supplies is urgent so we are concentrating on that and we hope to send a full bus out on St Patrick’s Day.”

Meanwhile, Limerick-based migrant support organisation Doras is also appealing for offers of accommodation and assistance.

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Doras chief executive John Lannon says the charity is experiencing an extremely high level of interest in its services.

“Our phone lines are ringing non-stop and we have numerous Ukrainian families arriving at our centre seeking urgent refugee resettlement and integration support.

“We are also hearing from people stranded at various borders. We were already really stretched supporting Afghan and other migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in areas like family reunification, visa and passport applications, social welfare, integration and language supports, and racism and domestic violence.

“So it’s an incredibly challenging time for us, but thankfully the people of Limerick are rising to support our efforts.

“After 22 years in existence, we’re still without core funding from the government, which makes it very difficult to do what we do. This means the support of the people of Limerick and beyond is vital. People are incredibly generous with donations, fundraising and offers of accommodation.

“While we were initially managing accommodation offers, we are now signposting those to our partners in the Irish Red Cross, who are coordinating the government’s national effort.

“Aside from accommodation, we encourage people to get in touch with us around any other areas they think they may be able to support with.

“This includes translation, transport, logistical, administrative or other support in areas such as graphic design or whatever skills people might be able to offer. We’re particularly keen for more companies and workplaces to get involved in fundraising and support efforts.”