A Kilkenny man who’s been working locally to help Ukrainian refugees is worried that public support will fade as compassion fatigue sets in.
Former Garda Frank Flood had been working with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe monitoring the Donbas region prior to the Russian invasion.
He’s since been helping people fleeing the war to get to Ireland and with the generosity of local people has been finding accommodation for them.
But he’s been telling KCLR that he’s afraid people’s desire to help is waning because so many are still in dire and urgent need:
“I see people for instance now are focusing on other issues and how this war is affecting us. And it’s affecting every one of us in many ways. We can see the increase in prices that are happening around us”
You can listen back to that interview with Frank Flood on The Way it is with Sue Nunn here:
Franks concerns come amid fears that Ireland will run out of accommodation for Ukrainian refugees by the end of this month.
The warning was made in a secret memo to Cabinet, which the Irish Independent reports, says there will be a shortage of beds for those fleeing the war by the end of this week.
Up to 32,000 Ukrainian refugees are expected here by the Easter weekend, and less than half of the accommodation offered by the public so far is deemed suitable.
The Irish Refugee Council’s produced a policy paper suggesting that holiday home owners should be encouraged to offer their properties to house Ukrainian refugees.
CEO Nick Henderson explains:
“If you own a holiday home, and it’s vacant you could pledge this to be used by refugees for say a minimum of 6 months. In return you’d receive a monthly allowance, not at market rental rate. This we believe would significantly assist in the accommodation of refugees”