MIA welcomes Ballaghderreen refugee proposal

The Abbeyfield Hotel in Ballaghaderreen. Photo: Google Maps

The Abbeyfield Hotel in Ballaghaderreen. Photo: Google Maps

The Mayo Intercultural Action (MIA ) project of South West Mayo Development Company welcomes the news of the temporary hosting of 80 Syrian refugees in the west of Ireland in the neighbouring county Roscommon. The Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre in Ballaghdereen will open to temporarily accommodate refugees after their relocation from Greece to Ireland. The residents will receive initial supports, English language and induction to living in Ireland. After a six month period, as expected, these families will be further resettled across Ireland to independent living.

Gerry O’Neill, the CEO of South West Mayo Development Company, said: “The local response to Syrian refugees resettled to Mayo in a last few month is overwhelmingly positive - from the community to the local services including schools, GPs and statutory agencies. Opening of the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre in Ballaghdereen is an opportunity for people in the west of Ireland to extend a typical Irish welcome to families who have lost their homes due to the war and humanitarian crisis.”

Natalya Pestova, MIA project coordinator, said: “Working with refugees and asylum seekers for over 10 years, MIA realises the vulnerability of people who suffered the life changing trauma of being forced to leave their home, family and community. The first experience of living in the new home country is very important for these families, particularly that they feel safe and welcome. Having witnessed the degree of goodwill towards Syrian refugees resettled in Mayo we have a confidence that the people of Roscommon will welcome Syrian refugees to their community with empathy and support.”

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