State Agencies and Voluntary Groups Reach Out to Refugees at Cahir Event Attended by Ukrainian Ambassador

Members of the Cahir Ukrainian Community flanked by Patsy McGurk of the Lions Club of Cahir, Lions District Governor Ann Ellis (both far left) alongside Ambassador to Ukraine Larysa Gerasko (center). Cllr Máirín McGrath and Tipperary County Council Cathaoirleach Marie Murphy are next to the Ambassador on the right.

Community organisations, schools, local and central government bodies and An Garda Síochána reached out to the Ukrainian community in Cahir last Saturday during the visit of the war-torn country’s ambassador to Ireland.
Her Excellency Ambassador Larysa Gerasko came to Cahir at the invitation of local TD Mattie McGrath to meet with members of the local community of Ukrainian immigrants and refugees who have arrived in Cahir in recent weeks.
Cahir’s community hall decorated in yellow and blue Ukrainian colors and vases of daffodils was where about 30 Ukrainians gathered to meet the ambassador.
Also present were representatives from Cahir Community Garda, Tipperary Education & Training Board, Cahir’s Social Protection Office, Tipperary County Council, Cahir Lions Club and Cahir Fáilte Isteach as well as representatives from local schools.
Many of them spoke at the rally about the services and help they can offer to Ukrainian refugees arriving in the Cahir region.
Tipperary County Council Cathaoirleach Marie Murphy, who together with Deputy McGrath officially welcomed Ms Gerasko to the town, said the council had set up a community response forum to help support Ukrainian refugees with compassion.
“It is a multi-agency group chaired by Tipperary County Council CEO Joe MacGrath and includes council staff, representatives from the gardaí, HSE, ETB, Tusla, from the Tipperary Volunteer Centre, the GAA, South and North Tipperary Development Societies and locallink,” she explained.
Fidelma Nugent of Fáilte Isteach said that the group’s free English conversation classes for people of all nationalities living in Cahir resumed this Friday, April 8 at the Cahir Community Hall. They will take place every Friday from 8:15 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The group has 15 volunteer tutors and five new volunteers have come forward in recent weeks. Fidelma says they are welcoming more volunteer tutors to reduce the tutor to student ratio in their sessions. Fáilte Istead Conversation Classes supplement the formal English courses offered in the town by Tipperary ETB. Lavinia English from Tipperary ETB said there were 14 such classes in Cahir teaching formal aspects of English speaking, writing and reading and providing the opportunity to take the Cambridge English exams . She invited anyone wishing to sign up for classes to talk to her or her colleague David Golden.
Sgt Ray Moloney of Cahir Garda Station greeted the Ukrainian refugees attending the rally in Cahir and was available to answer any questions they wished to ask him. Leo Coffey and Seamus Burke from the Department of Social Protection, meanwhile, gave information on how refugees can access social protection rights and also answered questions from the audience.
Ukrainian immigrant Valeriy Yeromin, who has lived in Cahir for 20 years, was delighted that the Ukrainian ambassador had taken the time to come to Cahir to meet with members of his community.
The Cahir ABP plant worker paid tribute to local state agencies and voluntary groups that help Ukrainian refugees arriving in Ireland. He said the response had been “brilliant” and spoke of the help he had received from Garda station and social protection for his fellow Ukrainians who needed help.
He has hosted seven Ukrainians, including relatives, fleeing the war at his home in recent weeks and some have since moved into other accommodation in Cahir.

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