THE County Cork response to the Ukrainian crisis has been robustly defended by the chief executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey following criticism from a West Cork TD.
Fianna Fáil TD Christopher O’Sullivan spoke out about the conditions 54 Ukrainians were experiencing while temporarily staying at the Clonakilty Community Centre.
Following a visit to the hall, the Cork politician said the location was not fit for purpose.
“On Sunday night the roof leaked, and concerns have been raised by the Civil Defence about the building not meeting fire safety standards."
Mr O’Sullivan also said the communication from the top-down needs to improve dramatically.
Responding to these remarks, Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey said the comments from Mr O’Sullivan demonstrated a “complete lack of understanding and overall sensitivity towards the unprecedented humanitarian crisis faced by the citizens of the Ukraine” as well as to “the interagency and voluntary sector who are on around the clock basis working to put in place transition and emergency accommodation and supports for the refugees.”
Mr Lucey said:
Outlining the size of the task, Mr Lucey said in some instances 1,500-2,500 emergency beds had to be activated.
In relation to Clonakilty Community Centre, the local authority's chief executive said the refugees had now been moved to more suitable accommodation and measures had been taken to address issues at the hall including fire safety, electrical, plumbing, heating, lighting and related matters.
Reinforcing his support for the work of the volunteers and groups that led the Ukrainian support in Clonakilty, Mr Lucey said: “The Local Clonakilty Community Support Hub meeting was convened to ensure a coordinated, integrated approach and the community stakeholder response at short notice over the weekend period was excellent and testament to the dedication and commitment of the local community and stakeholders who worked hard to ensure that the refugees were welcomed into the community.
“I look forward to continuing to do our level best at local government level in conjunction with all agencies and communities to ensure that we maintain the momentum that will be required over an extended period and, the positivity of all involved, along this difficult pathway.”