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One in five Ukrainians in Ireland have already found work




By Natalya Krasnenkova

One in five Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Ireland since the war broke out have already found employment, while almost two thirds of the remainder are actively looking for work.

This is one of the principle findings of the inaugural survey of Ukrainian refugees carried out by Ukrainian Action In Ireland (UACT), a registered non-profit committed to supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.

It was established by a group of Ukrainian and Irish volunteers united by the idea to help Ukraine and Ukrainians in the times of the war and beyond. Their main mission is to be the voice and action for Ukrainians in Ireland, to provide humanitarian support to Ukraine, and to show and promote a positive image of modern Ukraine in Ireland.


The main purpose of the survey is to give a voice to Ukrainians fleeing the war and to learn about the main challenges they face. Some 2,191 adult Ukrainian refugees living in the Republic of Ireland were surveyed.

“It is important for UAСT to understand the real pains and problems of Ukrainians from people directly," Olena Redrugina, a co-founder of UAСT, said.

"We understand that many Ukrainians are spread across Ireland, and this survey allowed us to reach out to the most remote locations. This is our first survey, which gave us lots of unexpected insights. It triggered many new ideas and insights within UACT and we hope this information will be of use to everyone involved.”

Of those who have found work, only 5% have found a job matching their professional qualifications. Two out of every five (38%) refugees looking for a job do not have a bank account/card. Mothers face the greatest difficulties finding employment. Although 20% of mothers have found jobs and 43% are actively looking, 22% are unable to work because of child commitments or health conditions.


One of the biggest issues facing Ukrainian refugees in accessing language courses, with almost half of all respondents speaking little or no English and 63% experiencing a language barrier in their search for a job. More than half of Ukrainians are studying English by themselves using online resources. 40% of them are attending English classes in person.

Most respondents are happy with the provided education. However, frequent relocation is affecting and interrupting language studies. Respondents expressed a strong desire to have more conversational practice and more frequency of classes (more than once per week). With most of the courses oriented towards the unemployed, those who have found jobs struggle to find education outside of working hours.


90% of Ukrainians expressed deep gratitude to the Irish Government and the Irish people for being able to live in safety. Almost two-thirds of Ukrainians are willing to actively contribute to the economy of Ireland, and half of the displaced are actively looking for a job and actively studying English.


Most of the Ukrainian refugee respondents said they did not have issues with services and are satisfied overall. Over 90% are highly satisfied with how they were granted Temporary Protection and a PPS Number. On the other hand, 37% have not received a Medical Card and have issues finding a GP. Some 70% of Ukrainians have not received a bank card. Only 3% exchanged their Ukrainian driving license for an Irish one.

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Developing St Finan’s “cost prohibitive” – Council

Converting the idle St Finan’s hospital into social housing is cost-prohibitive according to Kerry County council officials. The historic building has been lying idle since it closed in September 2012. […]




Converting the idle St Finan’s hospital into social housing is cost-prohibitive according to Kerry County council officials.

The historic building has been lying idle since it closed in September 2012.

The hospital and adjoining lands are up for sale by the Health Service Executive (HSE) since then.

So far no realistic offer has been made on the site despite suggestions that it could be used for social housing, a catering college and a hotel.

Each year the building, which was built in the 1850s, falls into further disrepair.

There were fresh calls again this week as local councillors called for some sort of action to redevelop the site that is fast becoming an eyesore.

At last Friday’s Killarney Municipal District meeting councillors called for action at the site .

Mayor Brendan Cronin wants the building’s protected status to be removed or at least reduced to speed up potential development work which ties in with Cllr Marie Moloney’s idea that the old hospital could be converted into apartments or flats.

Cllr John O’Donoghue wants the HSE to find a way to hand over the property to Kerry County Council either by way of reduced payment or an intra-government agency ownership change.

A Kerry County Council official told the meeting that any works to potentially convert the old hospital into social housing “would be cost prohibitive.”


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Eight month wait for a driving test in Killarney

A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at […]




A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney

The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at eight months.

Cllr John O’Donoghue raised the issue at Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council.

He proposed that driving instructors should be employed to carry out the final test to reduce the current backlog.

At Monday’s meeting he asked that hat Kerry County Council would write to the Minister for Transport to ask him to consider giving driving instructors temporary powers to issue a temporary Driving Licence/Certificate of Competence to those on the waiting list for tests.

“The wait is currently far too long and the system is in danger of becoming completely overwhelmed,” he said.

“The huge waiting list for young drivers is well documented at this stage. In a case I am familiar with, a young person passed their theory test in January 2022 and he immediately applied for his mandatory 12 driving lessons. When these were completed, he applied for his driving test on the 2nd of December 2022. Some weeks ago, he still had not received an application to apply for his driving test. This wait is placing him and his family under considerable extra cost and stress which is completely unacceptable.”

In the course of his research into the matter Cllr O’Donoghue discovered that the next available date for a driving test in Killarney is May 25, 2024, while Tralee is June 3 2024.

“Bear in mind, these are only the dates on which you receive an invitation to book your test, the test itself will then be an estimated three to five weeks later.

“This is an appalling situation and one which needs to be rectified as a matter of urgency. I am proposing that driving instructors, which presumably are fully trained up on the rules of the road, be granted temporary powers to be allowed to issue temporary driving licences to young people. When the waiting list time has been reduced, I would still propose that these people sit the test as usual, but the current pressure needs to be alleviated as soon as possible. There is precedent as I believe that in the 1970s, a cohort in this country were issued driving licences without having sat a test as the wait time for the test was too long.”


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