Ukrainian Refugees Move Into Medieval Irish Castle Owned by Good Samaritan
From the bombed-out streets of Mariupol to the rustic walls of a 15th-century Irish castle, a group of eleven Ukrainians have found a safe place to stay.
Having no space in Madrid where he lives with his Spanish wife Lola, Barry Haughian decided to quickly open up their second home when shells started falling on Ukraine.
That second home just happens to be Ballindooley Castle in County Galway. Haughian (pronounced HOY-en) flew to Poland to pick up a group of eleven refugees, some from Mariupol, and others from Dnipro.
“We were emotional wrecks for probably more than a week. We weren’t sure what we were doing, and just trying to make things better for them,” Haughian told Reuters.
“So now, every week it gets better… You can see the weight coming off their shoulders. We’ve got people dropping in all the time trying to help them. It’s a real ‘céad míle fáilte’ (a hundred thousand welcomes) from the people of Ireland.”
The kids play about the castle grounds, and the group has been able to celebrate a birthday together as they gradually find their feet.
Now one month into their new routines, five of the group have found jobs, including Maria Nazarchuk, who works at a garden center near the castle—and hopes to continue her accounting studies at the National University of Galway in September.
Ireland is proud of its contribution to the EU refugee sharing policy, and two months ago, when national registration opened via the Irish Red Cross to hosting Ukrainians, the website crashed due to the number of applicants.
Neighbors routinely stop by to lighten the mood with whatever supplies they can offer, including everything Nazarchuk needs to continue pursuing her passion for baking outside of her studies.
(WATCH the video for this story below.)
SHARE This Grand Story of Irish Kindness With Your Pals…