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Minister Simon Harris. Leah Farrell

One-stop hub to open next week for Ukrainians who want to continue studying, Harris says

We cannot allow Putin’s wish of depriving the next Ukrainian leaders an opportunity to finish their education, Simon Harris said.

A ONE-STOP INFORMATION hub is to be launched next week for Ukrainian students who want to continue their education, Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said.

“It’s being hosted by Maynooth University, but it’s a collaboration across the universities, it has access to guidance counselling and to experts from the admissions office,” he said.

“We cannot allow Putin’s wish of depriving the next generation of Ukrainian leaders an opportunity to finish their education,” Simon Harris said.

The minister was speaking on Newstalk this morning ahead of a Cabinet meeting later today. 

Harris said that Cabinet is “briefed on Ukraine every week, we take decisions on Ukraine every week”.

So far, 24,301 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland, with 16,013 Ukrainians seeking accommodation. Around two-thirds of Ukrainian refugees who have arrived are female, and one-third are aged under 18.  

It comes as the Department of Agriculture said that over 600 pets of 485 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland. Once the Department is pre-notified of the pets’ arrival, the animal is assessed upon arrival and cats and dogs are chipped, dewormed and vaccinated against rabies for free.

A period of quarantine is also required, which is allowed where the person is staying. Pet owners are provided with information translated into Ukrainian on how to manage their pet in home isolation.

“Over 95% of pets coming to Ireland are either cats or dogs with the remainder being smaller household pets. To date, 333 dogs and 285 cats have accompanied their owners from Ukraine,” the Department said.

Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue said that the decision was made based on creating as “little stress as possible” for those settling in Ireland, while also ensuring the risk of any disease coming into Ireland was reduced.

“Pets play a huge role in the lives of so many people. They’re friends and companions and I was keen to ensure pets could travel with their owners,” he said.

European Union member states have waived animal health requirements that are usually required from non-EU countries in order to accommodate pets owned by Ukrainian refugees.

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