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County Manager's warm welcome for Congolese refugees

Friday, 17th January, 2014 6:37pm

County Manager's warm welcome for Congolese refugees

Paul Neilan

The county manager says he feels the county is in a “great position” to welcome the Congolese refugees, who are to be resettled here in the coming weeks.
At the budget meeting for 2104, held on Friday (January 10) Cllr Winston Bennett asked the executive who would cover the cost of the 30 refugees, who will be settled in Cavan Town.
County Manager Jack Keyes said that the refugees would most likely be housed in local authority housing in the “usual manner” but that the council “haven’t finalised” arrangements yet.
“This is our first effort,” said Mr Keyes, of the housing of refugees.
“But it’s great to be in a position to help these who have been victimised.
“You could argue that we are all under pressure but these people have been forced to leave their country, we were told to take them, we had no choice in the matter. I am sure, however, we will give them the usual Cavan warm welcome,” he said.

The refugees will arrive at the end of the month and are preparing to make Cavan their new home under a national resettlement programme, which rotates among different counties.
The aim of the Refugee Resettlement Programme is “to give families who have been tortured, injured and bereaved as a result of conflict a chance of a new and safe life”.
The scheme will see six families and one individual move to the county town.
The families, which consist of 12 adults, three teenagers and 15 children aged 12 and under, have been exiled
from their homes and have been living in refugee
camps in Burundi for several years.
They arrived at the Baleskin Reception Centre, Co Dublin, in December and are taking part in a six-week orientation programme that aims to prepare them for life in County Cavan.
“The refugee resettlement programme supports extremely vulnerable people who have experienced significant trauma and upset in their lives,” said Philip Coleman, the chair of the inter-agency group responible.
For information on the programme or if you would
like to get involved contact Gráinne Boyle on 049 437 8586 or