Houses in Tipperary Town for twelve Syrian families have been identified and will be occupied once the Department of Justice have given approval for the move to take place, The Nationalist can reveal.
Members of Tipperary/ Cashel/Cahir Municipal District were informed that the Covid-19 crisis had delayed the arrival of the Syrian refugees in the town.
The resettlement team appointed told members that there had been a very positive response in Tipperary Town to the expected arrival of the Syrian refugees.
There had been strong participation in the town concerning the establishment of welcome groups and a formal befriending programme.
Members of the resettlement team told the elected representatives that houses had been identified and they hoped the Syrian refugees would be arriving in Tipperary Town in the next month.
The resettlement team were working hard to get the houses ready and they said they would let councillors know when they would arrive in town.
Lindsay Cleary, a resettlement worker, told the meeting that they were very happy with the preparatory work carried out in the town in advance of the arrival of the families.
That included establishing a network to link the refugees to family support services, primary and secondary schools, the ETB and the two resource centres in Knockanrawley and the Three Drives.
She told members that there had been very good feedback from the community in terms of setting up groups to facilitate integration.
Lindsay Cleary said a lot of people in Tipperary Town had come forward and expressed their desire to help on a voluntary basis with integration.
She believed there was a good understanding in the Tipperary Town community as to where the families were coming from and why they were here.
The resettlement worker said at the moment all of the twelve families were now in Ireland and five of them were staying in Clonea.
The resettlement team had already met the families in Clonea and had held meetings with the other families over Zoom because of Covid.
Cllr AnneMarie Ryan asked when the families would be coming to Tipperary Town and where would they be living.
Cllr Michael Fitzgerald said he was pleased with the reaction that the resettlement team were getting from the people of Tipperary Town. Cllr Roger Kennedy said the ETB were very happy to be involved in the programme. Cllr Kennedy said language was very important in terms of integration and he said the resources of the ETB would be put to good use in providing assistance to the families.
A total of 45 families are arriving from Syria.
Twelve families will be arriving in Tipperary Town and Clonmel, Nenagh and Templemore will also welcome families.