29 May 2022

Laois and Ukraine refugees feature on national TV

Laois and Ukraine refugees feature on national TV

The TV Programme ‘Ireland AM’ recently completed their outside broadcast in Portlaoise at the new ‘Zero Cost Shop’ named ‘Siopa Fáilte’ recently opened by Laois Integration Network for Ukrainian refugees. 

TV Presenter Alan Hughes interviewed a range of people from Portlaoise as well as Ukrainian refugees during the three-hour programme.

Cathaoirleach Conor Bergin spoke to Alan Hughes about the inter-agency work being completed by Laois County Council in assisting the refugees as much as possible.

Olena Justus, a Ukrainian refugee spoke about her journey from Ukraine to Ireland and about being so grateful to the people of Laois and to being housed by ‘Dídean’, a Laois community based, social care alternative for people who require temporary, emergency housing support.

Karen McHugh, Chairperson of Laois Integration Network spoke about the background to Laois Integration Network and about how it was initially founded in 2016 to cater for Syrian refugees coming into Laois. 

She spoke about the gratitude expressed to Mulhall’s Supervalu for donating the old XtraVision for free and she also thanked all members of the voluntary committee working round the clock to ensure the shop is run as smoothly as possible. 

19-year-old Ukrainian refugee Polina Filatova, spoke about her journey to Ireland three weeks ago and spoke about how she continues her studies online with her Ukrainian university.  She also spoke about how she likes helping out in the Zero Cost shop in Portlaoise. 

Sebrina Carroll from Portlaoise spoke to TV Presenter Alan Hughes about welcoming a Ukrainian woman, Oksana Bereza and her 12 year-old daughter Taisia into her home.  

Sebrina emphasised the fact that her family has got so much back since welcoming them to her house.  Oksana also spoke about her journey from Ukraine to Ireland and about how grateful she was to Sebrina, her family and to all of the Laois community for helping make them feel so welcome. 

All Ukrainian refugees spoke about how grateful they are for having the Zero Cost Shop in Laois.  They also spoke about how much they enjoy ‘giving back’ to the Laois Community by joining Portlaoise Tidy Towns Committee every week. 

The zero-cost shop known as ‘Siopa Fáilte’ is located at the Old XtraVision shop on Bull Lane (right around the corner from Mulhall’s Supervalu) in Portlaoise town and is run by Laois Integration Network.   

Anyone who wishes to help or to donate to the Zero-Cost Shop, please pop in to the shop at the following times:

Mondays from 4.00-6.00pm

Wednesdays from 4.00-6.00pm

Saturdays from 12-4.00pm

Donations can be made directly to Laois Integration Network Credit Union account.

Account Name:

Laois Integration Network; IBAN: IE62POCO99211710968699  BIC:   POCOIE21

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