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Concerns raised in Kilkenny over how accommodating Ukrainians fleeing war might potentially impact on local housing lists

The effects of the Ukrainian refugee crisis on local housing lists was a divisive topic as Kilkenny County Council members met on Monday.

Concerns were raised that locals in need of a house could be left waiting even longer as the state struggles to accommodate the 20,000 refugees expected to arrive in Ireland by the end of the week.

One local Councillor David Fitzgerald expressed his dissatisfaction that the issue had been brought up at all.

He told KCLR Live that the bottom line is that help must be provided to those seeking shelter here:

Fine Gael Councillor David Fitzgerald

“We are down to very simple, straightforward choices which are; do we help out our neighbours and friends or do we simply say no, we can’t help”?

Councillor Joe Malone and Councillor Eugene McGuinness were the members that raised the issue with officials in the Housing Department.

Both said people had made representation to them outlining their concerns.

This morning on KCLR Live, Councillor Malone pointed out that the refugees coming here could well need more than emergency housing because, he expects they won’t be able to return to Ukraine any time soon:

Fianna Fáil Councillor Joe Malone

“I don’t see people going back to Ukraine in the near future. This could take a generation”

With up to 10 million people set to be displaced and with Ireland pledging to accept 2%, it could see 200,000 arriving on our shores.

Noel Sherry of the local Good Shepherd Centre added his voice to the discussion this morning

He said it’s not just a matter of accommodating people, but we must also ensure that they have access to all the services they need:

“There needs to be the whole suite of services. Our educational services are already challenged, our health services are particularly challenged. And what do we say about housing. Any person sitting on a local authority housing list will tell you have difficult it is”

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