Housing Ukrainian refugees still challenging for council

Tom Gilligan - Mayo County Council Director of Services

Tom Gilligan - Mayo County Council Director of Services

In the region of 1,300 Ukrainian refugees are currently being housed in Mayo, but it is a challenging process, according to Director of Services for Mayo County Council, Tom Gilligan.

Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser this week, Gilligan outlined the current situation when it comes to housing refugees in the county. He said: "It is very challenging, because there is such a shortage of accommodation.

"We are utilising hotel accommodation and B&Bs at the moment but the reality is at this time of the year, hotel accommodation and B&Bs are booked out. But we are seeing success at the same time in that area, where local hotels are providing accommodation.

"We have 20 people now in our own rest centre, down at the Quay Community Centre in Westport; our priority there is to get them into accommodation and that is something we are working on this week. The situation is fluid, the numbers of refugees are in the region of about 1,300.

"There is a place on the N5 Business Park in Castlebar that is being renovated at the moment, we are looking at that, we are just going through and crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s, and accommodation will hopefully be provided there.

"I have reached out at this stage to sporting bodies, such as rugby clubs, soccer clubs, GAA clubs. We are talking to Castlebar Rugby Club and they are certainly looking at it, we are looking at sorting out things likes insurance and we are making good progress in relation to that.

"We have to stick up for the Ukrania;s in my opinion, we have to provide humanitarian response and a duty of care to them, it is so important; through no fault of their own and it is totally traumatic, to have to flee the war and conflict in Ukraine and we have responsibility and duty of care to them. It is challenging, we have our own housing crisis and situation to deal with; it is full on 24/7 at this time."


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