Thursday, March 09, 2023

Michael Bolton

Irish Rural Link believes the arrival of Ukrainians in rural areas is helping regenerate towns and villages nationwide.

This is according to Irish Rural Link, who believe people fleeing the war offers the potential to regenerate towns and villages nationwide.

Around 75,000 Ukrainian people have arrived here since Russia’s invasion began in February of last year, with just under 15,000 Ukrainian children have been enrolled in schools across the country as of March 1st.

Seamus Boland, the CEO of Irish Rural Link, said there are plenty of benefits of people coming to Ireland.

“It does rejuvenate a number of things in rural Ireland, especially schools and school numbers”, said Mr Boland.

“It brings people into the area, it brings services into the area, and of course, it makes for a great story. It’s also part of a greater growing acceptance that migrants, whether they are war refugees or others coming into this country, we can accommodate them and do so in rural Ireland.”

Mr Boland said the addition of refugees into schools in rural Ireland has helped save struggling rural schools across the country.

“A lot of schools are threatening to lose a teacher. Looking at the figures here, those schools have increased their numbers, so that threat dies away.

“In fact, it may put pressure on to increase services, or even expand the buildings schools are in.”

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