Ukrainian families given 15 hours to remove children from schools

Government department regrets upset but notes ‘emergency response’ circumstance

A number of Ukrainian refugees were given just 15 hours notice that they had to move and take their children out of the schools they were attending.

Approximately 70 refugees staying in the Holiday Inn near Dublin Airport, north of the city, were told at 6pm on Wednesday they would be moving at 9am the following morning to the City West Hotel in Saggart, Co Dublin.

The letter from a Department of Children official stated: “If you have children of school-going age who are enrolled in local schools, you can contact Tusla Education Support Services (TESS) to arrange re-enrolment in schools local to your new accommodation”.

The department defended the move saying that it is in an “emergency response” situation.


"The State is currently providing accommodation to over 18,650 people who have fled here from Ukraine in recent weeks. In all circumstances where a move is required, and individuals or families have established links locally, we seek to accommodate them nearby.

“Due to the availability and location of accommodation, this is not always possible. In this instance, the refugees had been placed temporarily in accommodation reserved for applicants for international protection who urgently need this accommodation.

“We regret the upset caused; however, the State is currently in an emergency response to the ongoing crisis and such moves are necessary to ensure that applicants for international protection and all those fleeing here from Ukraine can be accommodated.”

Uniforms and books

Eimear Power, founder of Play in Peace, a group set up to help Ukrainians settle here, accused the department of treating the refugees like "cattle that can be moved around without notice or consideration".

Many residents had been in Ireland since March and their children had enrolled in local schools where they had obtained uniforms and books, she said.

There was a great deal of “stress and confusion” among residents forced to move, Ms Power said. She claimed the “bus driver knew before the residents that they were moving. It is shocking. We don’t know if they are staying in CityWest permanently.”

Laura Medvedieva said her 12-year-old son, Artiom, in sixth class at St Francis School, Belmayne, was crying when told he had to leave the school he had attended since March.

“He was very happy to have new friends there and they didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye to them,” she said.

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times