Three new support hubs for Ukrainian refugees to open, with over 7,000 already in Ireland

Three new support hubs for Ukrainian refugees to open, with over 7,000 already in Ireland

THREE NEW city centre hubs are to be established in Ireland to support Ukrainian nationals who have fled the Russian invasion.

The 'Ukraine Support Centres' in Dublin, Cork and Limerick will assist Ukrainians in obtaining PPS numbers, availing of Social Welfare income supports, and receiving referrals to other State services.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys TD confirmed that the centres at Cork Street in Dublin 8 and Hanover Quay in Cork City are now open to support families and individuals who have arrived in Ireland.

She also confirmed that over 5,000 PPS Numbers have been issued to Ukrainians arriving into Ireland since the start of the invasion in Russia.

These centres will be open on Friday, 18th March and on Saturday, 19th March from 9.15am to 3.00pm. From Monday, 21st March, they will be open from 9.15am to 5.00pm.

A third hub will be opened in Limerick next week. The opening of these new hubs follows on from the launch last week of a ‘one-stop shop’ in Dublin Airport by Minister Humphreys and Minister for Justice, Helen McEntee.

Announcing the opening of the new centres, Minister Humphreys said the centres will "ensure that Ukrainian families and individuals who have fled this terrible war can get the supports they need as quickly as possible."

"We have already issued over 5,000 PPS Numbers to people who have arrived from Ukraine since the start of the invasion by Russia. We have also provided many families and individuals with income supports such as Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA)."

She said she wanted to the people of Ukraine to know that her department is "here to help and support" in every way it can.

Minister McEntee said that since the visa requirement for Ukrainian citizens travelling to Ireland was lifted on 25 February, almost 7,300 people have arrived.

"We have already granted temporary protection to more than 3,000 people, primarily through our reception facility at Dublin Airport," she said. "Staff from my Department are onsite at the airport from 8:00 am to 3:00 am each day to ensure we are meeting all arrivals."

"I will continue to work with my EU counterparts on any further EU-wide measures that might be needed to assist those fleeing Ukraine. Given the very extreme pressures being faced by Moldova in the current circumstances, we have also agreed, as part of an EU response, to offer to accept from Moldova up to 500 people who have fled the war in Ukraine."

Representatives from the Citizens Information Service are will be available in these hubs to help people from Ukraine with enquiries of a more general nature. Community Welfare Officers are also present to assist with applications for financial support. Interpretation services are available at the Centres.