Birr Outdoor Education Centre
Ukrainian refugees want to stay in Birr and don't want to be moved to other places in the Midlands, the Midland Tribune has learned.
Starting at the beginning of April, refugees have been arriving at Birr Outdoor Education Centre on Roscrea Road.
The Ukrainians are coming straight from City West in Dublin and the OEC is being used as an emergency stop.
The first group of 35 people stayed for three weeks in the OEC, but have since been moved on.
Groups are continuing to come and go. They are usually in Birr for two weeks and are then being relocated to houses and hotels elsewhere in the region.
They are arriving in groups in the town and are then being housed elsewhere after two weeks, based on the availability of accommodation and the needs of the individuals.
Birr OEC has capacity for 50 people and the group numbers go up and down each day.
They are expecting a new group arrival in the Centre this week, but only get a few hours’ notice of the arrivals.
All the groups have loved Birr and they find it difficult to move on as they have received a very warm welcome from all involved.
The OEC staff are getting phone calls from the refugees who are telling them they want to come back to Birr but unfortunately the Centre has no control over where they are relocated.
There is a trail of local people arriving in the centre on a daily basis to help and offer any assistance. This includes a number of elderly ladies who come weekly just to sit and chat with the Ukrainians and make them feel welcome.
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