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Clare based Afghans ‘ill’ with worry over their families’ fate

FORTUNATE enough to escape the hellish political climate of Afghanistan themselves, a number of people across Clare are “ill” with worry themselves this week, very concerned about what the return to power of the Taliban means for their loved ones, still there.
“The Clare Immigrant Support Centre is working with ten individual families or single people about their own family situations back in Afghanistan at the moment, and seeing what can be done,” said its spokesperson, Orla Ní Éilí.
They are also working with people who were here, but have gone to other parts of Ireland since.
Common to all those they deal with are massive fears about what the Taliban are going to do now. “It’s shocking, people aren’t able to sleep. Communication could become more complicated too. One man, we know that the Taliban did come to his home. Luckily his children and his wife were not there, but he knows what kind of trouble they would be in. The mood we’re finding is that people are ill with worry.
“By the grace of God, that man’s wife and the three children weren’t there, so they went away. But they heard about it from neighbours. That’s how close it’s coming to his life.”
Many of those here had been fearful prior to the American withdrawal. “They’re terrified, but they expected this, that’s why a lot of them were trying to get family reunification if they were in a position to get it. Any of them who were recognised as refugees or had subsidiary protection (were trying), but it hasn’t worked out for these particular people yet. They’re very concerned, and we are just trying to help them push it through.”
Orla says she finds it very difficult to watch the undeniably terrible footage emerging from Afghanistan, and she says that many millions of people are going to be left unaided whenever the evacuation stops.
“You hear 205 got out and 140 and three Irish people got out, but no matter how many people get out there are millions of people left.
“It’s a big failure, millions of people left who have no avenue to get out. This is the reality in all situations worldwide that generate refugees and where people flee to save their lives. Whatever about the numbers we’re taking in, as a country we have to stridently working for human rights worldwide, to get to a stage where situations are not being generated where people have to run.”

About Owen Ryan

Owen Ryan has been a journalist with the Clare Champion since 2007, having previously worked for a number of other regional titles in Limerick, Galway and Cork.

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