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Councillor says accommodation availability shouldn’t decide where refugees are located

Sep 25, 2022 15:09 By radiokerrynews
Councillor says accommodation availability shouldn’t decide where refugees are located Councillor says accommodation availability shouldn’t decide where refugees are located
Fianna Fáil Cllr Michael Cahill. Photo by Domnick Walsh / Eye Focus LTD
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A Kerry councillor says the availability of accommodation shouldn’t be the deciding factor in where to locate Ukrainian refugees.
Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Cahill was speaking at the recent Kenmare Municipal District meeting.
The issue of availability of services in South Kerry to cope with a significant population growth was raised by several councillors.
Independent councillor Dan McCarthy asked the council how many Ukrainians have been accommodated in the MD.
The council’s reply stated there are currently approximately 853 Ukrainian refugees placed in the Kenmare Municipal District.
Municipal District manager Martin O’Donoghue said there’s a serious health warning associated with the accuracy of the figures, because there is a certain amount of activity in terms of housing Ukrainians, that the council is not involved in.
Cllr McCarthy said he raised the matter because he wanted to see if there is capacity for the amount of people arriving in the area.
He asked if there are facilities for transport, and if more doctors should be hired in the area to cope with extra demand.
Independent councillor Johnny Healy-Rae said it’s felt in South Kerry that all the government is doing is providing a bed for these people and nothing else.
He added there’s no point making more problems by half-solving one, and some Ukrainians are as good as begging for drives out of places like Valentia for doctors’ appointments and other necessary trips.
Fianna Fáil councillor Michael Cahill said a lot of services in the area were already stretched to the limit.
He said he’s delighted with the way Ireland has accommodated Ukrainians so far, and he’s seen people arrive here with no more than a handbag.
However, he said, accommodation availability shouldn’t be the deciding factor in locating them, and that it’s going to be a major challenge going forward.

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