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Doras statement on welcoming Ukrainian refugees to Ireland

Call for ‘whole of government response’

“We must do all we can to offer the hand of friendship during Ukraine’s hour of need”. 

Doras, a Limerick-based national migrant and refugee support organisation, is alarmed and concerned at the devastation and suffering unfolding in Ukraine. Speaking as the Russian bombardment of Ukraine continues, Doras CEO John Lannon welcomes the outpouring of solidarity from the people of Ireland and says more is needed to put appropriate systems and supports in place to welcome Ukrainian refugees coming here seeking protection.

“Over half a million people have now fled Ukraine in a matter of days and this number is expected to increase in the coming days. Most refugees are going to neighbouring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Slovakia but we know already that many are making their way to Ireland or have already arrived. War such as this is catastrophic and frightening, and the impact on children and families is traumatic. We must do all we can to offer the hand of friendship during Ukraine’s hour of need”. 

“We welcome the intention of the Irish government to put in place a temporary protection measure for people fleeing from Ukraine. This will, we understand, be based on EU agreement to activate a Temporary Protection Directive that will provide a coordinated response to the displacement of people from Ukraine. If this is implemented, it is likely it will give people temporary residency permission for one year initially, with the possibility of extending that up to three years.”

“We hope there will be a whole of government response to ensure suitable accommodation is available for Ukrainian refugees on arrival, and that basic needs such as access to healthcare, social welfare and education are provided for.”

“In addition to governmental responses, people in communities throughout Ireland can also play an important role. Doras has already been inundated with offers of support and we are in touch with members of the Ukrainian community to do all we can. We are available to support people with resettlement efforts and international protection applications and to ensure they feel welcomed and supported here. We also encourage members of the public to donate to support international relief efforts where possible and to offer friendship and practical support to all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who may need it. When we look to our own history, it is the least we can do.”