Appeal for Accomodiation

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(Article courtesy of Cathy Lee – Gorey Guardian 16/03/2022)

WELL KNOWN GOREY musician Damian Brady has launched an appeal to help a Ukrainian family he is friends with find accommodation in the local area.

Mother of two Iryna Prachenko (37) will arrive to Ireland tomorrow, St Patrick’s Day, with her children Vlada Pranchenko (8) and Yaroslav Prachenko (13), but at the moment have no place to stay long term.

Specifically they are looking for rental accommodation such as a house or two-bedroom apartment but are open to any offers of assistance before they find a home to set up for themselves.

Iryna runs a successful fitness clothing brand and is a skilled photographer, and coming from the Ukraine’s Kakhovka, the Prachenko family have left the male members of the family behind, such as Iryna’s husband and brother along with her parents.

Having gone through an ordeal in trying to get to Ireland having been locked out of Ukraine when the fighting started, the family hope to find accommodation as soon as possible so that Vlada and Yaroslav can start school and improve their English. 

Damian, who is known for running the Leinster Music Academy, explained that he met the family online five years ago through a shared interest in yoga, and has since been over to visit the family in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv having kept in regular contact.

He said that he knows it will be a difficult task to find them accommodation, but he is willing to go the distance.

“We’ve been friendly now for years and years and would talk every week but once I saw what was happening in Ukraine, I knew I had to do something to help them. I only went to visit them two months ago and at that time we didn’t think the threat from Russia was a big thing. 

“Since this started we had been speaking every day and Iryna told me about her parents hiding down in bomb shelters underground. In a way I might have influenced them to come here, having strongly suggested the move as I knew thanks to the people here that the family would be well looked after when she arrived.

“I know how difficult it is at the moment for people to find rental accommodation in the Gorey area as it is but I just had to put the appeal out there and see what happens. Someone might have a granny flat that they might be willing to part with. Iryna doesn’t know anyone else in Ireland except me, but her English is quite good and I reckon she’ll be fluent in a few months time”.

He added that the family intend to start a new life here in Ireland, and that he and his family will offer a support system in terms of school runs as well a helping to find suitable long term accommodation in the area.

He said that the family hope to find their feet quickly, and he has already been in contact with national schools in Ballycanew and Riverchapel and staff there have assured him that the children would be supported.

He said that Iryna hopes that more family can to come once they can safely leave the country again.

“I remember speaking to Iryna some weeks ago and she felt like something was coming just before this happened. She knows she does not want to go back to Ukraine as there has always been that tension since war began in 2014. 

“I found it terrible to see my friend who is such a positive person be so upset about this war and that’s what triggered me to help and do what I can. I sent a few messages out yesterday and it’s a start but we have to have hope.

“I get the impression that she just wants to start fresh and forget about the war as it has been traumatic. I know I want to make her and her children feel as relaxed as possible when she does come here so that she knows she’s safe. It’s all about us keeping an eye on them now. 

“At first my parents said that they’d take them in, but I know the family want their own space too. I want to be a support system to the family to help them get set up here, whether it be with lifts, schools or jobs, whatever it takes.

“It has just heart breaking for them and I know it was very difficult to get out. We all saw the horrific scenes from Ukraine so I would appeal for people to have a heart and try to help”. 

Damian’s friend Barry Devereux who runs said that offers can be made through the contact section of the website, as he can put people in touch with Damian or Iryna. 

He said that offers were slow to start but he is hopeful that the family will have their prayers answered.

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