UKRAINIAN Ambassador to Ireland Larysa Gerasko has thanked the people of Limerick for their generosity and welcome they have shown to refugees fleeing the war in her home country.
Ambassador Gerasko made her comments on a visit to Limerick where she met with Mayor Daniel Butler and members of the displaced Ukrainian community who are now living in Limerick.
Around 1,150 Ukrainian people are currently staying in Limerick in a variety of accommodation centres, tourist accommodation, student accommodation and with host families.
Mayor Butler told the Ambassador that Limerick City and County Council is working closely with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and the International Organisation for Migration to identify suitable accommodation for those who require it.
The Council is also acting as co-ordinator for all of agencies and community groups who are responding to the needs of the Ukrainians refugees.
These agencies and groups are providing medical support, education, social welfare, transport, protection, and information supports.
The Ambassador expressed her thanks and appreciation to the Mayor, the staff of Limerick City and County Council and all agencies involved in supporting the new arrivals to Limerick.
She was invited to lunch by the residents of St Lelia’s, a rest centre accommodating displaced Ukrainians and operated by St Munchin’s Community Centre on behalf of Limerick City and County Council. The residents led the Ambassador on a tour of their accommodation where she took time to speak to each family about their journey to Limerick.
The children waved flags, spoke to the Ambassador, presented her with art and were delighted to show her their new surroundings. The residents prepared a traditional meal with borscht, holubtsi, deruni and other Ukrainian dishes.
Ambassador Gerasko then met with some of the community groups and agencies who are responding to the needs of the Ukrainians while in Limerick.
These included Limerick Childcare Committee, Local Link, Paul Partnership, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Civil Defence, An Garda Síochána, HSE, Mid-West Simon, Doras, Department of Social Protection, Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Ballyhoura Development, Limerick Volunteer Centre, Public Participation Network, West Limerick Resources, TUSLA, Zero Cost Shop volunteers, St Munchin’s Community Centre and the Citizens Information Service.