Fifteen families living in Co Laois since fleeing the war in Ukraine have been given 42 hours to leave their homes.
The refugees were brought into the homes five months ago by the children’s department and were told it was temporary and they would probably have to leave after six months.
However, the families said they did not expect to be informed at such short notice and asked for more time to prepare for the move.
Yuliia Kupet said she received a letter at 4:30 p.m. on September 20 that they had to leave their house by 11 a.m. on September 22.
The letter says they will be moved to Cottages in Kilkenny, where Ms Kupet will share a room with her eldest son in a house, while her husband and younger son will live next door.
Ms Kupet fled to Ireland in March with her husband Dmytro Popov and their two sons Andrii, 9, and Martin, 5.
Andrii has Down Syndrome and other medical problems, which made escaping the war very difficult for the family. The parents fear that if he has to move away from Laois, he will continue to regress as he has only just begun to become acquainted with it.
Mr Popov also works locally in Portlaoise and the family have tried to get their own house to rent but have had no luck.
“It’s very difficult for him (Andrii) because when we fled from the war, we had two hours to pack our things and go somewhere to find a safe place and now we feel in the same situation,” Ms Kupet told Independent.ie.
“When the war started he was so scared of staying in a new place and he regressed in his behavior.
“Just a month ago he started to recover like he knows where the shop is in Portlaoise, he knows his school and now we don’t feel so safe because I can’t explain to Andrii that our lives are changing will change again.”
Ms Kupet and Andrii will be sharing a home with Olena Justus, who is also currently based in Portlaoise and also has just 48 hours to leave her home.
Mrs. Justus, her husband, their three daughters and their elderly parents were all asked to leave the accommodation.
“In this new accommodation there is no shop, nothing and most of the 15 families will live in six or seven houses, so we are combined with two families,” explained Ms. Justus.
“My children and husband will all be in one room, my parents in another, and then the third room will be a lady and her disabled child.
“I understand the situation with the apartment but to receive this communication was a shock and we are only asking for a few weeks to make a decision.
“We have been looking for a rental apartment for this month but unfortunately no luck.
“So the letter with this last-minute message just kicked us out and we have to leave tomorrow at 11.”
The Ukrainian native said her family has just settled into the community as she started working at a local bank last month and her three daughters attend a nearby elementary school.
“We struggled for months to get enrolled in the school, but we finally made it and now we’ve bought the uniforms, the books, everything,” she said.
A spokesman for the Children’s Ministry said the Laois shelter where the families were housed had been successful in a tender process for international shelters.
They added: “Given the serious shortage of accommodation for applicants for international protection, it is necessary that any beneficiary of temporary protection be transferred to alternative accommodation if temporarily accommodated in international protection accommodation now available for applying for international protection is needed.
“Relocations like this only take place where it is necessary. The Department for Children, Equality, Integration of Disabled Persons and Youth is now working together with our implementation partners and accommodation providers to make this step as easy as possible for those affected.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/15-ukrainian-families-given-42-hours-notice-to-leave-accommodation-in-co-laois-42007409.html 15 Ukrainian families were told 42 hours in advance to vacate their homes in Co Laois