CO CLARE has one of the highest residents of displaced Ukrainians in the country.

More than 25,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived into Ireland since the war in Ukraine began at the end of February. Clare accounts for an approximate 3,000 of this total number.

Tuesday’s meeting of the Rural Development SPC of Clare County Council heard that the amount of Ukrainians now based in Co Clare is over 3000. 2000 of these are primarily living in hotels, community centres and pledged houses while a further 1000 travelled to Clare independently and are staying with friends and family. The vast majority are living in hotels funded by International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS).

Service provision for the refugees is at “a very basic stage” with accommodation, food and shelter provided, Director of Rural Development with Clare County Council, Leonard Cleary outlined. Securing wrap-around services is the next step, he advised.

He acknowledged the “huge community and voluntary response” by groups on the ground “well versed in responding to the needs” of people.

Lisdoonvarna’s population has doubled following the arrival of well over 1000 Ukrainians. Ennis, Shannon, Kilkee, Flagmount, O’Briensbridge, Fanore, Ennistymon, Lahinch, Liscannor and Newmarket-on-Fergus have also welcomed refugees.

“We’re trying to get the agencies to work together to deliver the wraparound services, we weren’t expecting this, we haven’t the capacity to switch on this for an additional 3000 residents,” Cleary stressed. The community and voluntary effort coupled with the stretch on agencies experienced over the past two months cannot be sustained, “we can’t burn out volunteers or staff or we will have none left”.

Cleary was confident a structured system would be put in place imminently. The efforts to date must be commended, he said. “It is quite a challenge, it is hugely emotive, we all want to play our part in the humanitarian crisis that it is. We need a balanced service approach, this not a six to twelve week operation, it is minimum two years but more likely a long-term role. Clare has one of the highest residents of Ukrainians in the country bar Dublin, that is testament to the response”.

Environment and conservation representative, Anny Wise flagged the opportunity posed by the crisis to deal with vacant properties.

This sentiment was supported by Cleary, “we have a great opportunity in the midst of this crisis to utilise investment into vacant properties, to turn around vacant shops that will never be shops again, there are a number of national Government schemes in place that need to be structured together. We cannot lose sight of the long social housing list in Clare and we cannot forget the balance”.

Related News

Photograph by Eamon Ward
New vision for Lisdoonvarna in €4.3m plan
gearstick car
Ennis man fails with 'three trotters' sale evidence to secure Garda return of €43,000 jeep bought in €50 notes
shannon industrial estate refugee building 1
Immigrants didn't cause health & housing problems in Shannon - ex Shannon Group board member
norma foley ennis community college 2
Minister Foley hails Ennis school as model for society to follow

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply.

Scroll to Top
Enable Notifications for the latest news and updates OK No thanks