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Hotel Westport taking in Ukrainian refugees


Oisín McGovern

A HOTEL in Westport will accommodate Ukrainian refugees for the six months, The Mayo News has learned.
Hotel Westport, which is situated on the grounds of the Westport House estate, will accommodate the refugees from Ukraine from October.
Biddy Hughes, Head of Commercial Development at Westport House & Hotel Westport, said staffing levels have not been affected by the move.
“No wedding bookings have been impacted at all,” Ms Hughes added.
The hotel’s bar and restaurant facilities are likely to be reserved for residents only, but the nearby leisure centre will remain open to the public.
It has not yet been confirmed how many refugees will be staying at the 129-bedroom hotel.

‘Peace and hope’
Mayo County Council’s Director of Services for Housing Tom Gilligan welcomed the offer of accommodation for refugees.
“It is so important that we show solidarity and support to the people of Ukraine as the war in Europe affects us all,“ Mr Gilligan said.
“Mayo is welcoming approximately 1,500 Ukrainian refugees. These refugees, mostly women and children, are being sheltered in accommodation right across the county.
“Even though the people of Mayo are providing a duty of care and a humanitarian response to refugees, there is still a need to do more as the number of refugees continue to grow.
“I’m delighted and thrilled that Hotel Westport and the Hughes family are providing accommodation to Ukrainian refugees at a time when the need to help Ukraine has never been greater.”
Westport Estate CEO Barry O’Connor commented: “Apart from providing much needed accommodation, we hope that we can give peace and hope to children and families fleeing the terrible war in Ukraine. We look forward to welcoming and taking care of our new guests.”

Variety of settings
According to the latest CSO statistics, at least 285 Ukrainian refugees were living in the Westport area as of August 7.
Over half of all refugees in Mayo are being housed in hotels, self-catering accommodation and guesthouses. As of August 23, 694 were living in hotels while 108 were being housed in self-catering accommodation.
A further 220 were being housed in guesthouses while 126 were living in properties pledged by members of the Mayo public.
Twenty people were staying in rest centres, with a further 317 living in hostels, holiday villages and private accommodation.
Over 40,000 Ukrainians have fled to Ireland since the onset of the Russian invasion.