County Hall on John Street, Kilkenny
Between six to eight Syrian families will be accommodated in Kilkenny in the first half of this year, with four of them set for Castlecomer.
Around 20 families (116 Syrians) were resettled at locations around the county up to the end of 2018, according to the latest figures from Kilkenny County Council.
Four families have so far been settled in Urlingford, four in Ferrybank, four in Callan, two in Piltown, and two in Rosbercon. Two families were to have been resettled in Thomastown by end of 2018, with a further two to be resettled there this year. Properties are now to be identified in Castlecomer for four families also.
The council says it is sourcing houses by way of acquisition or turnkey developments, and also units provided by Approved Housing Bodies. In her monthly report for December, the chief executive said it was the council's intention 'to ensure the minimum impact on our existing social housing applicants'.
Last July, with more than 63 people resettled, the council said that families welcomed to Kilkenny since January of 2018 have 'settled in well and are becoming active members of their new communities'.
Nationally the Government - through the Irish Refugee Protection Programme - has pledged to offer safety and protection to approximately 4,000 asylum seekers/refugees. The programme commits Ireland to offering families and children, who have been compelled to leave their homes due to war and conflict, a place of safety. The Department of Justice and Equality notified Kilkenny County Council regarding the resettlement of 140 refugees into Kilkenny.