A Ukrainian priest who is based in Donnycarney, Dublin, has told of the appreciation people from his country feel towards Ireland and their desire to return and rebuild their country “with their hands” at the earliest opportunity.
Fr Vasyl Kornitsky told RTÉ radio’s News at One that Easter was traditionally a big celebration in Ukraine, so it was likely to make people very homesick.
Those who had arrived in Ireland had been “very grateful and very surprised” at the level of support they have received which they did not expect, he added.
“People who flee war, they need so little. In Ireland, they have received much more than they expected. They want to get home, they miss their families terribly.”
Everyone wanted the war to end, so they could go back to Ukraine to rebuild what was destroyed, to rebuild their country “with their own hands.”
Fr Kornitsyky said that was a great message of hope to him as a priest at this time of uncertainty and great distress.
He was happy to see children going to school rather than spending 24 hours a day in a hotel room.
The refugees arriving in Ireland wanted to contribute to society, they did not want to be dependent on the State. While they were very grateful for State support they had not expected it. They were very thankful, but at the same time they were very homesick.