A Ukrainian native living in Clare believes the Taoiseach should be doing more to bring the war in her country to an end.
It follows comments this week from Leo Varadkar, who’s said Ireland needs to ‘slow the flow of refugees and Asylum Seekers’ arriving in the country.
Since the Russian invasion in February of last year, 4,947 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Clare, the sixth highest total per head of population in the country.
Coupled with this, at the end of October, the county was also hosting around 850 International Protection Applicants across Ennis, Tulla, Meelick, Inch, Lisdoonvarna and Scariff.
Comments from the Taoiseach this week suggests change is afoot though.
According to Leo Varadkar, Ireland needs to slow the flow of refugees and ensure the supports offered here are aligned with other countries.
However Ennis resident Mariya Nikashanova, who’s originally from Irpin, believes the Taoiseach could eliminate the problem at the source, by exerting his influence on the international stage, and ensuring sanctions on Russia are effective in bringing the conflict to an end.
Currently, all Ukrainian arrivals to Ireland are entitled to standard social protection supports, such as the maximum jobseeker’s allowance payment of €230 per week.
This compares to a monthly citizens income of €510 per month in Germany, while in Italy, after 90 days, refugees are expected to source their own accommodation.
A MidWest Refugee Suport Centre believes, however, that Ireland’s focus should be on delivering medium term accommodation, rather than dettering an influx of future arrivals.
John Lannon from Doras says strategic local taskforces need to be formed to ensure any changes to current policy do not compound the homeless crisis.
You can listen to the full interview here: