UKRAINIANS living all over Cork will come together for a special ceremony today to commemorate the Chernobyl disaster.
The event, taking place at midday in Bishop Lucey Park, will be organised by members of the Greater Chernobyl Cause who acknowledge the disaster on April 26 every year.
This week marks 37 years since the No 4 reactor exploded at the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant near Pripyat, Ukraine. It resulted in 30-40 times the level of radioactivity released by atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Ambassador of Ukraine to Ireland, Larysa Gerasko, is expected to attend the event which will also have a focus on the new challenges facing today’s Ukrainian people.
Greater Chernobyl Cause founder Fiona Corcoran said that nobody can predict the impact the disaster’s legacy will have on future generations.
Ms Corcoran described how her charity has been supporting the country during such trying times.
“We finance humanitarian hubs in Ukrainian cities, including Lviv, Kviv and Kharkiv, now dubbed the ‘city of no windows’ due to the destruction caused by constant shelling,” she said. “In these cities, Ukrainian citizens endure constant power cuts and blackouts. There is little prospect of work or proper education. Our charity works hard to support those suffering as much as we can with such projects as providing generators to schools so that children can have some normality, building a community bomb shelter and funding hubs which provide support 24 hours a day.
“We provide counselling, as trauma upon trauma are heaped on the people of Ukraine.
"However, there seems to be no end to the trauma for these innocent victims, as war continues.”
The event will be marked with an afternoon of music, poetry, and prayer. Pupils from Goggins Hill National School are preparing to sing the Ukrainian National Anthem, in solidarity with many Ukrainian children, who up to a year ago, enjoyed homes, security and normal lives.
Fiona thanked the people of Cork for supporting the charity’s events.
“The empathy and love of the Irish will be evident as always as we stand with Ukraine in their time of need."
Also in attendance on the day will be Lord Mayor of Cork, Fine Gael councillor Deirdre Forde, emergency services personnel, and members of the Defence Force, along with school children and the general public.
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