Blacklion village hailed 'miracle place' for Ukrainian refugees

A small rural border village between Fermanagh and Cavan is now home to 30 Ukrainian refugees.

Since arriving in Blacklion two weeks ago, the community has come together to welcome and help them.

Yurri Kolontai, a lawyer in Ukraine, said: "We arrived in the night. In my opinion, this is a miracle place".

His home in Ukraine has been bombed so he came to Ireland with his family including his three children.

Since the war started in February, over 25,000 have arrived in the Republic of Ireland, Credit: UTV

Emma Prikhodko, 18, is an economics student and has come to Blacklion alone.

"It was really difficult," she said. "My parents in Ukraine stay and I'm here alone. I never was abroad before. This is first time."

She thanked the 'kind Irish people' who have helped them a lot.

Since the war started in February, over 25,000 have arrived in the Republic of Ireland while around 21,600 have arrived in the UK.

While the exact number of Ukranian refugees in Northern Ireland is not known, 598 visas have been issued to applicants being sponsored by Northern Ireland residents - as of 26 April.

How many visas have been issued to Ukrainian refugees in your area?


  • 95

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

  • 90

Newry, Mourne and Down

  • 90

Mid Ulster

  • 69

Mid and East Antrim

  • 65

Ards and North Down

  • 53

Lisburn and Castlereagh

  • 37

Causeway Coast and Glens

  • 31

Antrim and Newtownabbey

  • 27

Derry City and Strabane

  • 23

Fermanagh and Omagh

  • 18

There has been criticism at how slow the UK government refugee scheme has been.

Sandy Holland, from Cavan County Local Development, has been helping the new arrivals settle into their new home.

"It's a very hands on deck approach," Sandy said. "Many are from big cities and big towns. To arrive in a very small Irish village is a big culture shock but the local community has been instrumental in helping".

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