The Archbishop of Armagh and the President and Vice-President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference have thanked parishes across Ireland for raising over €3.25 million in response to the crisis in Ukraine.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, both church leaders asked for a special collection in Irish parishes as an additional way of helping to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
According to the UN, more than ten million people have been displaced by the war and at least five million have been forced to flee the country.
It’s understood almost 7,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland so far.
In a statement, both Archbishops said they are “most grateful” for the “enormous generosity and compassion” with which churches across Ireland have responded to the appeal.
“It is also heartening that some parish communities have established direct links with Ukrainian parishes and local charitable projects to support refugees and those remaining in Ukraine.”
The funds have been sent to the international Catholic Church agency, Caritas Internationalis, which is currently operating on the ground in Ukraine and surrounding areas.
Earlier this week, Caritas confirmed the death of two of its workers in Mariupol after its office in the city was shelled.
The Archbishops said: “We wish to acknowledge the bravery of humanitarian workers who risk their lives in providing much-needed assistance and protection to innocent people who have been caught up in this war. We extend our prayers and deepest sympathy to their families, friends and fellow humanitarian workers.”