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“We don’t know what to do – we are desperate” – Ukrainians shocked at last minute Mayo move

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ISSUE: Brendan Griffin TD will raise the issue of moving the Ukrainians to Mayo in the Dáil today (Tuesday).

By Michelle Crean

With less than 24 hours until an unexpected move 300kms across the country, Ukrainian women and children in Killarney are desperately pleading to political leaders to help them keep their accommodation.

135 Ukrainian women and children have settled and built their lives while accommodated at Hotel Killarney on the Cork Road since last March. Children have made friends and many of the women found jobs locally.

However, that's now all up in the air after they received a letter with just 48 hours notice to move to Westport tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12pm - following the arrival of up to 190 male refugees from a number of countries including Algeria, Albania, Georgia, Syria, Palestine and others.

According to Ukrainian Dina Kukushkina who works in Reens Pharmacy, it's been a huge shock for them.

"We don't know what to do, we only have one day left," she told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We got a letter yesterday (Monday) with information that we have to move on Wednesday to Mayo."

The Ukrainians are in Ireland under the Temporary Protection Directive which allows them to work. They have spent the last seven months settling into life in Killarney making friends, putting children in local schools and finding jobs.

Dina said that they had no prior notice that the men were arriving - the first they knew, she said, was at 11pm one night last week when they started passing through the corridors of the hotel.

"We were very shocked. We just looked from behind the door, a lot of men were passing through, we didn't expect that."

She said that the children will be re-traumatised if they have to move and settle into new lives again.

"We don't have any other choice. We are desperate, we are trembling. It's crazy for our children. We have started to build our lives here and settle. I found a good job and started to feel confident again. We are very grateful to the government and people of Ireland and especially Kerry for helping us and for the feeling of safety for our families."

Kerry TD Brendan Griffin will today (Tuesday) raise the issue as a matter of an emergency in the Dáil.

He said that he has tried numerous times to contact Roderic O'Gorman, TD and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth to get some answers.

"This is scandalous," he told the Killarney Advertiser.

"The message it is sending out to Ukrainians is 'no matter what support you're getting - don't rest easy as you could be moved'. This is so wrong, for the children in particular who have settled and got a routine in their lives, to move them 300kms away. Their new lives are in Killarney now. The lads [men refugees] are far more mobile, they haven't put down roots. The children will be traumatised."

He added that one option for the women and children is to refuse to get on the bus tomorrow but that comes with a further risk.

"There's a great unease about moving but if you go against International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) you're thrown out of the system."

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Festive jumpers and a Kerry jersey brings fundraiser to €10k

By Michelle Crean Jumpers have helped to raise almost €10k so far – but now it’s a very special jersey which could drive the fundraising numbers up! A Kerry football […]

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By Michelle Crean

Jumpers have helped to raise almost €10k so far – but now it’s a very special jersey which could drive the fundraising numbers up!

A Kerry football jersey signed by the 2022 All-Ireland winning team is up for grabs via a fundraising link once a donation is made to the Presents for Palliative fundraiser.

On Friday eight local schools including Holy Cross Mercy, Killarney Community College, Presentation Monastery, Lissivigeen, St Brendan’s College, St Brigid’s, St Francis Special School, and St Oliver’s
swapped their uniforms for their most colourful festive gear with funds going to help the amazing services in the Palliative Care Unit/Kerry Hospice Foundation.

“The day took place across the schools involved last Friday (December 2) and looks like it has been a success,” teacher Elaine Moynihan from St Brendan’s College told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The donations from the schools are still being counted but students look to be on their way towards making their goal of €10k.”

The iDonate ‘Fundraising For Kerry Hospice Foundation’ has been very helpful in this regard, she added.

“Anyone who donates via the link and leaves their name will be in with a chance to win a Kerry jersey signed by the 2022 All-Ireland winning team which will be presented to them before Christmas by a couple of members of the team.

“This was organised by the students involved in the fundraiser as a way to say thanks, and give back, to the members of the community who have gotten involved in the event – the link is live until December 18 and the draw will be made the following day.”

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Killarney punter secures €50,000 in EuroMillions draw

A lucky Killarney punter got an early Christmas present when they scooped €50,000 in the EuroMillions ‘Ireland Only Raffle’. The winning ticket, sold in the Lidl supermarket on the Tralee road, was […]

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A lucky Killarney punter got an early Christmas present when they scooped €50,000 in the EuroMillions ‘Ireland Only Raffle’.

The winning ticket, sold in the Lidl supermarket on the Tralee road, was valid for Tuesday night’s special draw.

The Killarney winner was one of 10 who each secured the €50,000 windfall.

“The National Lottery can reveal that three players in Dublin, three players in Cork and one player in Kerry, Roscommon, Kildare and Wexford all scooped the special raffle prize which was the seventh of 12 draws in the National Lottery’s ’12 Draws of Christmas’ promotion,” said a National Lottery statement.

The eighth draw will take place tonight (December 9) where 10 more players are guaranteed to win the amazing prizes.

Meanwhile, a player in Belgium scooped the EuroMillions Jackpot prize worth an astonishing €142,897,164.

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