Limerick TD criticises ‘chaotic attempts’ to house Ukrainian refugees

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Limerick Rural Independent TD Richard O'Donoghue

THE Government’s attempts to house the thousands of people fleeing war-torn Ukraine has been described as “chaotic” by a County Limerick politician.

Independent Rural Ireland TD Richard O’Donoghue told the Dáil that with Ireland now home to almost 30,000 refugees, around 1,200 of whom are spread across Limerick, agencies are overwhelmed.

“There is complete chaos. I am aware of a family that offered its holiday home for use by Ukrainians. They contacted the Red Cross and got a phone call to say the Red Cross wanted to go and see the house.

“The family agreed to meet the Red Cross there. However, little did the family realise that the Red Cross volunteers were on a minibus with eight Ukrainian people, and their suitcases. They were coming out to look at the house to see was it viable for them. They took the suitcases off the bus and moved in straight away.

“A person with the Ukrainians had a letter but could not explain to the householder what had to be done, and that person was there to help. It is total chaos,” Deputy O’Donoghue declared.

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He went on to say that he has to  get an interpreter down to the Ukrainians who moved into the holiday home to let them know where the bus service was and everything else.

“The volunteers had to rush back into Limerick to collect another person to take them somewhere else and they did not know where they were going. This is what is wrong.

“The following day, I met a person whose job is to track where Ukrainian people are in order to put a map together so that where they are is known. That person asked me if I knew where Ukrainians had been placed and asked me to notify them because some of the Ukrainians have slipped through.

“They were put into houses but now it is not known where they are,” he claimed.