Ukraine Crisis: Minister O’Brien meets with Community Workers and volunteers

  • Minister sees first-hand the work of volunteers and community workers in Blanchardstown and Tallaght
  • Welcomes Community Response Forum in each area to coordinate local measures welcoming Ukrainians
  • Commits to continue to allow flexibility in schemes and programmes so people are freed up to work with new arrivals
  • Praises the role of Volunteer Centres and Local Development Companies and other local organisations


Minister of State for Communities and Charities, Joe O’Brien TD, visited Blanchardstown and Tallaght to see first-hand the work being done by the community and voluntary sector to welcome new arrivals from Ukraine.

In Blanchardstown, Empower, a local development company has welcomed over 200 families and provided them with services such as English language classes, translation services, access to computers, and assistance with setting up bank accounts.

Speaking in Blanchardstown Minister O’Brien said:  “This is a real crisis situation and to see the work here is reassuring.  The basic yet crucial services that are being provided really help to ease what is a hugely traumatic time after people have been so cruelly displaced from their homeland.”

 Minister O’Brien went on to visit the Tallaght Cross Hotel where similar efforts are underway to help people through this very difficult time.  The Minister met and spoke with volunteers that have been coordinated by the South Dublin Volunteer Centre and heard about the challenges that they are facing as they work to support high numbers of people arriving from Ukraine.

Speaking at Tallaght the Minister said:  “I’ve spoken to some highly dedicated and impressive people today.  Not just paid staff, but volunteers, giving freely of their time to provide help and support to people coming into this country in the most upsetting of circumstances.  We can be very proud of our efforts so far, as a nation and although there will be big challenges in the coming weeks and months, we will collectively step up to the plate.

 “As the new arrivals begin to settle in, a Community Response Forum will provide enhanced co-ordination for the community and voluntary response in their area. We want to ensure that we make the most of people who are giving of their time and generosity, and that an effort is made to reach out to every Ukrainian family that arrives.

 “I would emphasise the importance of our funded programmes to support this work especially the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) which has professional community workers all across the country and our network of volunteer centres which are a huge asset to our efforts to the Ukraine crisis across every county in Ireland.

 “I want to acknowledge the fast, direct and very human response of the community and voluntary sector to those arriving to our shores. The structures, once fully established, will make those efforts even more effective and co-ordinated.”

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