Departure of Second Group of Kosovar Refugees
The second group of Kosovar refugees left Ireland this morning on the Voluntary Repatriation Programme. Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Liz O'Donnell, TD, was on hand at Shannon Airport to wish them well.
"We in Ireland hope that the Refugees have benefitted from their short stay here and we wish them well as they return to rebuild their lives in Kosovo. I would like to acknowledge the valuable contribution of all of the individuals and organisatons that have made the programme a success and that have given untiringly of their time and resources. The Irish Government will of course continue to do all it can to assist the people of Kosovo."
120 refugees left in total, drawn from Refugee Reception Centres in Waterford, Tralee, Killarney, Cork, Baltinglass and Kildare. 75 of these are to be repatriated and 45 are availing of the Government's ‘Look and See' programme.
The first group of refugees left from Shannon Airport on 6th August. This repatriation is part of the programme of voluntary returns commenced in mid-July by UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration. Each returning refugee received a repatriation grant and on arrival in Kosovo will receive additional assistance from the UNHCR, including food and basic accommodation materials.