Clare will welcome approximately one hundred refugees to the County with the first set of families due to arrive this month.
The Irish Government has agreed to the resettlement of 520 refugees in Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Galway and Mayo by the end of 2016. The initial intake of refugees arrived in Ireland in mid-2015. Clare County Council welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this international humanitarian response.
The first group of 9 families (47 persons in total) will be arriving to Shannon and Sixmilebridge during June. A second group of approximately 50 persons will be relocated to an as yet unspecified location(s) in Clare during late 2016.
A local inter-agency group, of which Clare County Council is the lead authority, has been formed to co-ordinate services and support the inbound refugees. All relevant statutory and non-statutory agencies are engaged in this project including TUSLA, HSE, Limerick Clare Education and Training Board, Clare Local Development Company, Dept of Social Protection, Clare County Childcare Committee, Clare Immigrant Support Centre and An Garda Síochána.
The inter-agency group is working closely with the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration (OPMI) to ensure that the refugees, who have been through traumatic experiences, settle in their new communities. The refugees will receive ongoing support to assistance to adjust to life in Ireland and integrate into their new communities from the relevant agencies, as well as a resettlement support worker and a resettlement programme.
In parallel to the identification of homes for the nine refugee families, Clare County Council is working to expedite the acquisition of properties. These are aimed for those on the housing list in the immediate areas of Sixmilebridge and Shannon where the resettlement of refugees is occurring and indeed, throughout the whole of County Clare.
A statement released to The Clare Herald from Clare County Council read “The Council has a very good working relationship with the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government and is confident that good progress is being made in purchasing, leasing and constructing houses to respond to the needs of those on the housing waiting list. Housing is a priority of Clare County Council”.
Clare County Council has appealed to the people of Clare to extend a warm welcome to the newest members of our community.