“We had a constructive meeting with the Taoiseach, Minister Roderic O’Gorman and Minister Joe O’Brien this morning. We acknowledged the extraordinary nature of this situation, Ireland’s very positive response so far and the Taoiseach’s leadership. The meeting followed a letter to the Taoiseach from more than 40 civil society organisations from across Ireland and a paper (attached to this press release) which gave recommendations about better coordination of national and local responses.”

“We put forward four recommendations which aimed to support the government’s response and flagged the need to shift from emergency to longer term response and to support coordination at a national and local level.”

“We recommended the urgent appointment of a National Director of Ukrainian Response, an independent high-level coordinator, to lead the national response. Secondly, the establishment of a National Ukrainian Response Taskforce to include state and civil society actors at local and national levels, including representatives of people fleeing Ukraine.  Thirdly, the appointment of a Senior City/County Lead under the auspices but independent of the Local Authority. Finally,  Tthe need for additional resources for the implementation of national and local strategies and plans, while ensuring the continuation of existing essential work being undertaken in local communities.”

“The Taoiseach stated that these recommendations are under active consideration and there was an agreement to meet again in three weeks. The Taoiseach also acknowledged the important role of civil society in the collaborative development of local and national responses.”

Nick Henderson, Irish Refugee Council

Rachel Doyle, Community Work Ireland

John Lannon, Doras

Anatoliy Prymakov, Ukraine Crisis Centre Ireland

Mary O’Donoghue, West Clare Family Resource Centre