Over 80,000 Ukrainian refugees could arrive in Ireland
"It's very difficult to predict."
The Ukrainian Ambassador to Ireland has said that upwards of 80,000 refugees from Ukraine could arrive on the island over the coming months.
Larysa Gerasko made the comments on Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio One on Tuesday morning (15 March).
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 15, 2022
"It's very difficult but I'd think probably 80,000 (refugees)," Gerasko said.
"First of all, what I would like to say, we've made an announcement in Ukraine that Ireland has withdrawn the visa.
"Many Ukrainians, even my friends, they don't know that they don't need a visa to get to Ireland.
"So we will make an information campaign again in Ukraine, in Ukrainian mass media, and I'm sure that many thousands will arrive," Gerasko added.
Ukrainians travelling to Ireland will receive special refugee status and will be entitled to live and work in Ireland as EU citizens.
Almost 6,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in the country since the start of the conflict.
Gerasko expressed her gratitude on behalf of the country to Ireland for allowing citizens to stay in the country.
"Of course, they have a lot of questions, how to get education, how to register their kids to school or kindergarden, how to arrange visits to GPs, just everyday things," Gerasko explained.
"It's very difficult for them, especially (those) who haven't any relatives or friends here to understand how this system in foreign countries work, and many of them don't speak English.
"Many people from our community, from Ukrainian community, help others with the translations and many other things."
Irish people have been asked to "open up their homes" in order to house incoming refugees.
Thousands of pledges to host those seeking accomodation have been made via the Irish Red Cross.
If you have a spare room or property and would be willing to provide accomodation, you can make your pledge here.
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