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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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Roger and Brendan really into the SWING of things

A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves […]

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A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves a regular challenge against local players.

Roger O’Sullivan, originally from Loreto Road and a member of the Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle, has linked up with another Killarney man, Brendan Keogh of SWING Golf, on several occasions to bring a group of golfers from the Seattle club to play a number of Kerry and Irish courses.

They compete for the Cider Cup which is their own unique take on the Ryder Cup.

In 2010 Roger led a group of 18 golfers from the US to play in Ireland and they repeated the journey and the adventure again in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

They had another trip planned in 2020 but that was cancelled due to Covid but they returned again in 2022 and a group of 44 golfers were back in Killarney in recent weeks to test their skills on the Kerry courses and against local players.

“Since we first started doing this in 2010 we have had 102 different golfers travel from Seattle,” Roger explained.
“I met Brendan Keogh on one of my visits home and he travelled to Seattle, at my request, and organised sponsorship at my golf club.

“Since then our trips have been expertly organised by SWING Golf who book us preferential tee-times, set up the schedule and coordinate our bus drivers. We have never had an issue or anything to worry about. Being friendly with Maurice O’Donoghue, we have always stayed at Scott’s Hotel,” he added.

The US visitors take on local players when in Killarney and this year there was 100 golfers playing on the Killeen course on the first day of their visit.

“The support of the locals has been incredible and I wouldn’t do this without them,” said Roger.
“There have been numerous friendships made over the last 14 years. We have supported a local charity on every trip and for the last two it has been the palliative care unit at University Hospital Kerry. This year we raised €5,100,” he said.

A former student at St Brendan’s College, Roger’s parents were Tony and Juliette O’Sullivan and his father was the head chef in the Gleneagle Hotel for over 20 years before the family purchased Danesfort Lodge at Woodlawn Cross on the Muckross Road.

Roger has been married for 20 years to Amy from Tampa, Florida and they have one daughter, Gracie.
Brendan Keogh joined SWING in the early days of its operation as financial operations manager, working alongside the late Paddy O’Looney.

A member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club for 40 years, he is the current CEO and he will have served 33 years next September.

SWING, the brainchild of former Kerry Group chief, Denis Brosnan, markets and promotes the premier golf clubs in the south west and also runs an incoming golf agency.

Records show that the company has booked over 350,000 rounds of golf in the south west alone but it also facilitates golfers wanting to play elsewhere in the country.

The company’s senior team of Brendan, Eileen O’Sullivan and Tommy Pierce have 60 years of experience bringing golfers to these shores.

Killarney has been a huge beneficiary as it is a base for most visiting golfers while on the Kerry part of their trip. The locals like seeing the high spending golfers arrive in April for a season than runs until mid October.
2024 is busy and it is also looking positive for 2025.

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Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

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Over 30 members, past and present, gathered last Tuesday in The Dromhall Hotel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Killarney Toastmasters club.

Several founder members were present including Frank O’Sullivan and Bernadette Noonan, who are still current members of the club.
Members embrace the core values of Toastmasters International which are “respect, integrity, service and excellence”.
This year Killarney Toastmasters welcomed eight new members of various nationalities, who have brought many talents with them to this international club.
Outgoing president Anthony Walsh said: “I am heartened by the progress of new members and, following the success of the current year, I am looking forward to a bright future for the club.”
Anthony passed the chain of office on to incoming President Ann Hannan, who is very excited about leading the club in the year that Toastmasters International celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

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