22 May 2022

State bodies and voluntary groups reach out to refugees at Cahir event attended by Ukrainian ambassador

State bodies and voluntary groups reach out to refugees at Cahir event attended by Ukrainian ambassador

Members of Cahir’s Ukrainian community along with Patsy McGurk of Cahir Lions Club, Lions District Governor Ann Ellis (both far left) stand with Ambassador to Ukraine Larysa Gerasko (centre). Cllr Máirín McGrath and Tipperary County Council Cathaoirleach Marie Murphy are beside the Ambassador on the right.

Community organisations, schools, local and central Government bodies and An Garda Síochána reached out to Cahir’s Ukrainian community last Saturday on the occasion the war torn country’s Ambassador to Ireland visited the town.
Her Excellency Ambassador Larysa Gerasko came to Cahir on the invitation of local TD Mattie McGrath to meet with members of the local Ukrainian immigrant community and refugees who arrived in Cahir in recent weeks.
Cahir Community Hall decked out in the Ukrainian yellow and blue colours and vases of daffodils was where about 30 Ukrainians gathered to meet the Ambassador.
Also present were representatives of Cahir Community Garda, Tipperary Education & Training Board, Cahir’s Social Protection Office, Tipperary County Council, Cahir Lions Club and Cahir Fáilte Isteach as well as representatives of local schools.
Many of these spoke at the gathering about the services and help they can offer to Ukrainian refugees arriving in the Cahir area.
Tipperary County Council Cathaoirleach Marie Murphy, who along with Deputy McGrath formally welcomed Ms Gerasko to the town, said the council has set up a Community Response Forum to help support Ukrainian refugees in a compassionate way.
“This is a multi-agency group chaired by Tipperary County Council CEO Joe MacGrath and includes council staff, representatives from the gardaí, HSE, ETB, Tusla, Tipperary Volunteer Centre, the GAA, South and North Tipperary Development Companies and locallink,” she explained.
Fidelma Nugent of Fáilte Isteach said the group’s free English language conversation classes for people of all nationalities living in Cahir were resuming this Friday, April 8 at Cahir Community Hall. They will run each Friday from 8.15pm to 10pm.
The group has 15 voluntary tutors with five new volunteers coming forward in recent weeks. Fidelma says they welcome more volunteer tutors to reduce the tutor/student ratio at their sessions. The Fáilte Istead conversation classes complement the formal English classes run in the town by Tipperary ETB. Lavinia English of Tipperary ETB said there were 14 such classes in Cahir teaching formal aspects of English speaking, writing and reading and providing opportunities to sit Cambridge English exams. She invited anyone wishing to sign up to classes to speak to her or her colleague David Golden.
Sgt Ray Moloney of Cahir Garda Station welcomed the Ukrainian refugees present at the gathering to Cahir and was available to answer any questions they wished to put to him. Leo Coffey and Seamus Burke of the Department of Social Welfare, meanwhile, gave information on how refugees can access social welfare entitlements and also answered questions from the floor.
Ukrainian immigrant Valeriy Yeromin, who has lived in Cahir 20 years, was delighted the Ukrainian ambassador took time to come to Cahir to meet members of his community.
The Cahir ABP plant worker paid tribute to the local State bodies and voluntary groups helping Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland. He said the response has been “brilliant” and spoke of the assistance he had received from the Garda Station and Social Protection for fellow Ukrainians requiring help.
He has welcomed seven Ukrainians, including some relatives, fleeing the war into his home in recent weeks and some have since moved into other accommodation in Cahir.

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