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Church of Ireland General Synod: Ukrainian refugee scheme is too slow, says Bishop

13 May 2022

Ukrainian refugee Rustam Saidaliev, from Kharkiv, pictured on Tuesday, who, with his family, sought refuge in Ireland, and are now staying in a hotel on Redbarn Beach, in Cork, Ireland

Ukrainian refugee Rustam Saidaliev, from Kharkiv, pictured on Tuesday, who, with his family, sought refuge in Ireland, and are now staying in a hotel ...

THE UK Government had shown either “incompetence or cynicism” in its failure to speed up the process of resettling the 65,000 Ukrainians who had sought refuge in the country, the Bishop of Derry & Raphoe, the Rt Revd Andrew Forster, said.

His comments followed a video marking the 50th anniversary of the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal for World Aid and Development. The Bishop noted that 5.6 million people had fled Ukraine. Ireland had taken in “25,000, and growing”, while just 11,000 of the 65,000 who had applied had been settled in the UK.

“What’s happening with the visa applications is that you may have a mother with three children, and two of the children are getting an application and the mother doesn’t get it — and families [are] to be split up. I can’t understand whether that is incompetence or cynicism, to be honest with you,” he said.

Small countries such as Ireland had led the way, he suggested, describing the UK situation as “nothing but frustrating”, and the response as “found terribly wanting. I urge you to lobby local MPs on this issue — we need to be speaking out for the cause of the oppressed. The Government needs to step up to the mark.”


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