29 May 2022

Ukrainian refugees hail ‘unbelievable’ volunteerism from Longford public

Killoe Ukrainians

Maryna Lytvynova, Maria Lytvynova, Malachy Flanagan (Treasurer, Killoe Development Group), Alina Marchuk, Oleksand Marchuk, Fr Sean Casey, Declan Rowley (Chair, Killoe Dev Group) & Shona Rowley

Two Ukrainian women have heaped praise on the “unbelievable support” they have received from locals after fleeing the war torn nation in the midst of Russia’s ongoing invasion.

Like thousands of others, Alina Marchuk and Maryna Lytvynova flew into Ireland last month seeking refuge from a war that has gripped the eyes and ears of the watching world.

Their safe haven for the foreseeable future is a newly refurbished three bedroom apartment that lies adjacent to Happy and Healthy Veterinary Hospital and which was kindly donated by its proprietor Emma Plant.

“We are shocked every day because these people have made us feel so welcome and every day they come to us and ask if we need anything,” said Alina.

The Leader got a first hand look at the quartet’s new surroundings over the weekend with the finished product more than matching the expectations both women had originally anticipated upon stepping foot on Irish soil.

Their contentment turned to melancholy when the pair switched their focus to the crisis that continues to engulf their motherland more than 2,000 miles away.

Maryna's mother and brother have remained on in Ukraine while Alina's husband has taken up arms in a bid to fend off Russian forces.

“It’s a terrible situation in Donbas and south and east,” added Maryna.

“Every day there is fighting, bombs exploding and people and children die every day.”

Those atrocities have not surprisingly negated their own hopes of returning home.

“We think about this but it is such a terrible situation, we just don’t know,” she continued.

Their anguish has, aside from the self sacrificing efforts from a small, but good natured band of Killoe volunteers, been further stengyhened by the fact both their children have been enrolled at St Teresa's National School. “All of the clothes have been given to us too which has been a great help,” added Alina.

“The people here have really shocked us, we have been made feel so welcome and we are so grateful for everything they have done for us.”

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