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Kildare Today

with Clem Ryan

Explainer: Floods Cross In Newhall - What We Know So Far

The information is based on correspondence from The Department Of Integration.

Who will be accommodated at the site?

The Department of Integration has told Kfm that over 300 Ukrainian "families" will be provided with temporary accommodation at Flood's Cross in Newhall, just outside Naas. The maximum capacity in this centre is for 985 people.

The residency will be entirely made up of Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection fleeing the war in Ukraine. The profile of arrivals from the war in Ukraine to date is mainly women and children.

In a briefing document provided to local representatives from The Department Of Integration, the below is what we know so far:

What will be on site?

The new facility is set to open featuring 387 en-suite own door sleeping cabins.

The facility will feature interconnected sleeping cabins via covered tracked walkways, ensuring ease of access and protection from the elements during winter months.

A designated heated dining marquee will operate on a staggered basis to prevent overcrowding, with meal times carefully allocated.

All meals, along with tea and coffee making facilities, will be provided.

The facility plans to offer flexibility around lunch timings to cater to students and workers.

To cater to the recreational needs of guests, separate marquees will be allocated for adults and children. Additionally, outdoor tables and designated play areas for children will be available, enhancing the overall experience for families.

Communal laundry facilities within the centre will be provided.

How long can people stay at Floods Cross?

It is expected that residents will only stay for a number of weeks as they adjust to living in Ireland and prepare to transition to their own independent accommodation.

How many staff are on site? Is there a presence there 24/7? What are the security
arrangements for the building?

The facility will be staffed with a rostered team to include the facility manager, duty managers, night managers, security teams, food service staff and cleaners.

Security personnel will be on-site 24/7, 365 days a year and the manager on duty will be contactable at all times.

Upon arrival into Ireland, refugees undergo medical examinations and are provided with medical cards and PPS numbers before being transported to their designated accommodations. They are then eligible to seek work.

What about school places?

Due to the short term nature of this accommodation facility, children will only be in residence for short durations.

It is likely that families will await securing their own independent accommodation before settling children in schools.

According to the Department of Integration, the provider, Pastures New, can provide and facilitate various educational classes and recreational activities, and will liaise with relevant external bodies where appropriate.

What about integration supports?

As beneficiaries of Temporary Protection, Ukrainian people receive housing assistance, health, education and other supports.

The local Community Forum has also been informed of the opening of Floods Cross and will engage with the new arrivals to involve them in community activity and offer a wide range of supports and activities.

Who are the owners?

The property is leased and operated by Pastures New Ltd.

The company will directly employ a centre manager possessing experience in facilities management, and will also procure additional assistance through contracting in this field. Pastures New Ltd. has prior experience in establishing and managing accommodation centres of similar size.

What about medical cards?

The process to apply for and receive a medical card has been simplified and streamlined. Ukrainian refugee applicants are automatically eligible for a medical card, and having a GP is not a prerequisite for application; one can be assigned after receiving the card.

Existing Ukrainian medical card holders will undergo a standard means test assessment after 12 months.

However, incoming Ukrainian arrivals will retain access to a simplified, non-means assessed application process for medical cards during their first year.

Individuals staying in private accommodations such as with family, friends, or pledged accommodations, can register with local General Practitioners (GPs) through the usual process under the General Medical Services (GMS).

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