Caption: Garda Sergeant Ray O’Leary of Cahir Community Garda Unit and Ukrainian native Valeriy Yeromin, who has lived and worked in Cahir for 20 years at the visit of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland in Cahir Community Centre on Saturday, April 2. Seven women and children fleeing the war in Ukraine who Valeriy took into his home a few weeks ago have found refuge in a vacant curate’s house in Cahir kindly made available by Cahir Parish Priest, Fr Peter Cullen
A vacant curate’s house in Cahir has become a refuge for three women and four children fleeing the war in Ukraine.
Cahir Parish Priest Fr Peter Cullen has kindly made the three-bedroom house on Cahir’s Clonmel Road available to the seven Ukrainian refugees who arrived in the town in the past few weeks.
The curate’s house was furnished and made ready for the Ukrainian group by volunteers from Cahir Lions Club.
Josephine Casey of Cahir Lions Club said they went to the St Vincent de Paul shop in Clonmel and got the furnishings they needed for the house while a donation of €1,000 they received enabled them to purchase electrical goods. They also received donations of items like bed linen and toys from local people. Josephine said the Lions Club is selling badges in Cahir to raise money to buy supplies for the Ukrainian refugees they are helping in the town.
Fr Cullen had no hesitation in making the curate’s house available to the refugees when he was approached. “I had already decided in my heart that it wasn’t right to have a house standing empty when there were people in desperate need of shelter,” he told The Nationalist.
He said the parish renovated the building after it was vacated by the last priest with a view to renting it out so it was in good condition. He believes the need of Ukrainian refugees at the moment is most pressing and feels very glad it is providing shelter for these women and children.
“If we can’t do that, we might as well close our doors. Isn’t it about Christian charity more than anything else.”
Fr Cullen added that the war in Ukraine was absolutely terrible and we all have a responsibility to do everything we can to help the people affected by it through every channel possible.
The seven refugees’ connection with Cahir is Ukrainian immigrant Valeriy Yeromin, who has lived in Cahir and worked in the town’s ABP meat processing plant for about 20 years.
Some members of the group of refugees now staying at the curate’s house are relatives of Valeriy’s and they stayed at his home for two weeks when they first arrived in Ireland. The children have resumed their education at local schools.
Valeriy is delighted with the house and thanked and paid tribute to the Catholic parish of Cahir and Fr Cullen for making it available to them. He is also very thankful to the local volunteers, particularly Josephine Casey, who helped them find and furnish the house.
“They provide us with everything; furniture, electrical equipment. Volunteers are bringing toys and clothes. At the moment, the situation is very good for these people,” he said.
The Nationalist spoke to Valeriy at an event for Ukrainian immigrants and refugees attended by Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland Her Excellency Larysa Gerasko at Cahir Community Hall on Saturday, April 2.
The event was attended by voluntary groups like Cahir Lions Club and Fáilte Isteach, which runs English conversation classes for immigrants as well as statutory bodies like Tipperary County Council, Tipperary Education & Training Board, An Garda Síochána and the Department of Social Protection which are involved in helping Ukrainian refugees when they arrive in Ireland.
Valeriy described the response of the Irish people and Government to refugees from his home country arriving in Ireland as “brilliant”.
He said the latest Ukrainian family to arrive in the Cahir area had a very difficult journey getting from Kyiv to the Polish border to safety.
He is expecting several more families fleeing the war to arrive in Cahir but the problem is sourcing accommodation for them. He is in contact with local volunteers to relation to finding more accommodation.
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