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Know Your Rights: Ukrainians in Ireland

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Deirdre Vann Bourke, Kerry Citizens Information Manager, gives an update on the supports available to Ukrainians coming to Ireland, those who have recently arrived in the country or for people who want information on how to support them.

“When Ukrainians, or people travelling from Ukraine, first arrive in Ireland they need to go to the reception centre at Dublin Airport and give their details," Deirdre said.

"This is where they will get the papers they need to show that they can stay in Ireland. The staff at the reception centre can also help them to get somewhere to stay and help with money.”

Visas

Citizens of Ukraine do not need a visa to travel to Ireland. Deirdre also clarifies that they do not need proof that they have a COVID-19 vaccine, or need to take a COVID-19 test before they arrive. If they do not have a current passport, they can use another form of identification to travel to Ireland for example; national ID card, expired passport or birth certificate. The Irish Government has asked airlines to accept these documents. Deirdre cautions that if you are travelling with family members who are not Ukrainian citizens, they may need a visa to come to Ireland.

If you are already in Ireland and you need to bring children here from Ukraine without their parents, you should contact the Department of Foreign Affairs at 01 4082000 and ask for their Ukraine Unit.

Immigration and international protection

The EU, including Ireland, is using the Temporary Protection Directive. This means that Ukrainians are allowed to work and access services and benefits without making an application for international protection (refugee status). This applies to Ukrainian citizens and their families. It also applies to people who live in Ukraine and cannot return to their country of origin.

Housing and accommodation

You can get help with somewhere to stay at the reception centre at Dublin Airport. If you are already in Ireland and you have nowhere to stay, you can email the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) on ipasinbox@equality.gov.ie.

Healthcare

You can access healthcare in Ireland. You can also apply for a medical card. This allows you to access healthcare services for free and get medicines for a reduced price. Contact your local CIC for more information and help with the application.

Social welfare

You can apply for Social Welfare (financial support) when you arrive in Ireland from Ukraine. You need to get a PPS number (an Irish social security number). You can apply for a PPS number when you arrive in Dublin Airport. If, however, you are in Ireland already, you should go to your local Intreo centre or branch office. You should not apply online for your PPS number. The Irish Government has published Social Welfare information for people arriving from Ukraine under the Temporary Protection Directive. This information is also available in Ukrainian and in Russian. If you have children, you can get Child Benefit. This is paid to the parents or guardians of children aged under 16. It is also paid for children aged 16 and 17 in full-time education. You do not have to have proof that your 16 and 17-year-old children are in full-time education for the first two months after you arrive in Ireland.

Education

The Tusla Education Support Service can help you find a school for your children. You can get more information about how to enrol children by calling your local CIC.

What can I do if I want to help?

Pledging Accommodation

Deirdre advises that there are a number of ways you can help Ukrainians coming to Ireland. You can pledge accommodation on the Irish Red Cross website by registering your profile on the Register of Pledges on www.redcross.ie. Someone from the Irish Red Cross will contact you to get further details. The Irish Red Cross is working with the Irish Government to match people who have accommodation to offer, with refugees who have come to Ireland. You can pledge a spare room in your house or a completely vacant property. Pledges can be offered on a charitable basis or you can request to receive Housing Assistance Payment. Shared properties must include direct access to cooking facilities, shared or private bathrooms and private bedrooms of a reasonable size. All properties must be close to public transport and within a short commute to villages, towns or cities.
Tenancy agreements are entered into and the period requested is usually 12 to 18 months. Support from Red Cross caseworkers is provided throughout the tenancy and once the tenancy is in place the guest/tenant will be placed on the Local Authority housing list.

Other Ways to Help

If you speak Ukrainian and want to help, you can contact the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) which is responsible for the provision of accommodation and related services to people in the International Protection (‘asylum’) process.
Alternatively, NASC is an organisation that works with migrants and refugees to advocate for change within Ireland’s immigration and protection systems, to ensure fairness, access to justice and the protection of human rights. Based in Paul Street in Cork, NASC offers supports and training to groups interested in a community sponsorship programme. Community Sponsorship groups befriend and help newcomer refugee families to navigate different aspects of life in Ireland to support and welcome them into their local communities.

For anyone needing information, advice or have an advocacy issue, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information team in Kerry on 0818 07 7860, they will be happy to assist and make an appointment if necessary. The offices are staffed from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on tralee@citinfo.ie or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie for further information.

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Leona named PRO of the year

By Sean Moriarty She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts. The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named […]

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By Sean Moriarty

She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts.

The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named Leona as its Public Relations Officer of the Year at an awards ceremony at Iveagh Gardens in Dublin on Friday night last.

Leona has been the PRO for Kerry GAA for the last five years but will have to step down this year due to County Board rules.

“I was speechless, it was wonderful to get PRO of the Year but I am only as good as the team around me and this success is attributed to the hard work of the entire PR team at Kerry GAA,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

As well as her busy schedule managing the media affairs for the Kerry County Board, Leona is also principal at Cullina National School in Beaufort.

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Any victory for Ukraine is important!

By Natalya Krasnenkova On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”. That is why Ukrainians who […]

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”.

That is why Ukrainians who gathered around the world on Saturday night were waiting for Ukraine’s win in the song contest, just like the victory in the war.

The Ukrainians from the Innisfallen Hotel were waiting for that too and the overall winner, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, caused a real emotional storm in the hall!

“After my country’s victory at Eurovision, I felt proud, cried, laughed and couldn’t believe it. I am also grateful to everyone who voted for us, because this victory shows how much most European countries support us,” Iryna Melnychuk said.

“Voting around the world for Ukraine gives us hope for support from the world community not only in the Eurovision Song Contest,” said Stepan Krasnenkov.

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra received the highest number of points from the audience during the entire existence of the competition: 439 points from the audience, 192 points from the professional jury. In the end – 631 points, which brought Ukraine victory.

Also, thanks to the Kalush Orchestra, the whole world now knows about the humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol and the Azovstal enterprises, where wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are under blockade without food, water and medicine.

After their performance, Kalush Orchestra addressed the audience from around the world with a request to save the defenders of Mariupol, who are at the Azovstal plant.

“Please help Ukraine, Mariupol! Help Azovstal! Right now!” – the band called.

After these words, search queries for Azovstal and Mariupol took off on the Internet as people were looking for what they meant.

Irish Eurovision contestant Brooke also sang it and the whole world sings the song of the winners ‘Stefania’.

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