Syrian asylum-seekers arriving in Ballagh this morning

Seventy-two Syrian asylum seekers are due to arrive at the Abbeyfield Hotel Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre in Ballaghaderreen this morning at 11.30.

Eighty refugees due to come to Roscommon have been based in a temporary centre just outside Dublin for the last 5 weeks, eight of those will be staying in Dublin for medical and family purposes.

The group arriving in Roscommon today, includes 13 children under four, 19 children in the five to 12 age category and four children over the age of thirteen.

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While the community has come together on a number of initiatives to welcome the refugees to Ballaghadereen, there’s continued pressure for government agencies to provide the necessary services.

The HSE has confirmed to Shannonside FM that the €97,000 in dormant accounts funding approved last week, will go towards providing a nurse/midwife to support GPs and the local public health nurse in meeting the needs of new mothers and babies.

They will provide screening and assessment of preschool children, and other nursing needs.

The HSE says all of its other services will be accessed through the normal pathways, such as GP or public health nurse referral, and will be delivered based on priority of need.

The NGO, Safetynet provides a range of social inclusion services, including working with the marginalised, those with mental health issues and refugees.

The HSE says that Safetynet will operate the HSE’s new Mobile Screening Unit, providing a range of medical services.

In terms of education, the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board will be providing initial education services to primary, secondary and adult learners.

The tutors for the adult and second level programmes will be drawn from its panel of qualified ESOL tutors, and it’s recently advertised to add to this panel.

The primary school teachers are currently being advertised.

The GRETB says learners will be placed in groups depending on their ability and needs and as per policy for resettlement programmes will be offered up to 20 hours per week tuition.

In all cases this will include induction and orientation as well as language and other skills.

It says it will have all programmes ready to start within a short time of the arrival of the learners in Ballaghadereen.