Buttevant says ‘céad mile fáilte’ to Ukrainian refugees

It was around 6pm last Friday evening when the community of Buttevant learned that the former convent in the town was to be used as a temporary shelter for Ukrainian refugees, and even though the building had lain idle for more than four years, the people of the town joined North Cork Civil Defence in making it fit for purpose. It was a remarkable achievement, and when the first group of refugees arrived only eight hours later, they were met with a warm and welcoming centre.
The transformation of a shell of a building into a habitable centre is a tribute to the local community who joined Civil Defence volunteers in cleaning it up, fixing the heating and lighting, sourcing beds and duvets and doing many other jobs, while a local catering company also joined in the effort, preparing meals for the refugees. More than 60 people joined in the big clean-up, while many others donated vital supplies, and donations have continued to flood in this week.
A drop-off centre has also been established in Buttevant Memorial Hall and will be open from 11am to 1pm and 5.30pm to 7pm each day to accept donations. A full list of necessary items can be seen on the Buttevant Community Council Facebook page. A GoFundMe page, ‘Ukrainian Starter Assistance’, has also been set up, and at the time of going to press over €4,000 had been donated.