Mayo Council at odds with Government over cost of housing Ukraine refugees

Mayo Council at odds with Government over cost of housing Ukraine refugees

Kenneth Fox

A charity which evacuated 90 children from Ukraine is at the heart of a dispute between Mayo County Council and the Government over who will pay their accommodation costs.

Candle of Grace has been told the State will not pay for the hotel bills, which are believed to be €120,000 a month.

Mayo County Council agreed to pay for the kids' stay in the belief that the Department of Children would reimburse them - the Department says the charity's work does not fall within their remit.


Speaking to Newstalk, Candle of Grace founder, Lily Luzan, is concerned about the children, who have already experienced great trauma.

"We were quite sure that everything was sorted. We were sure that because Mayo County Council had looked after other refugees before and after, that everything was dealt with.

"They (The Government) are just saying that we made arrangements with Mayo Council and ourselves, so we have to take care of it."

Ms Luzan called it "shocking" especially since most of the refugees in question are children.


The latest count near the end of May, showed over 33,000 Ukraine refugees have arrived in Ireland

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed women aged 20 and over account for 48 per cent of arrivals to date, and individuals aged 0 to 19 made up 38 per cent.

The data showed 33,151 people arrived from the war-torn country up to May 22nd. The number is based on the amount of public service (PPS) numbers issued to Ukrainians under the Temporary Protection Directive.

The highest proportion of those arriving, just over 14,700, were categorised as "one parent with children"