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ABC Borough’s first refugee intake to arrive early next month, Armagh I can reveal

The first migrant families to this area will arrive in early July, Armagh I can reveal.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council established a refugee working group some months back to facilitate the arrival of some of those affected by the crisis.

On Sunday, we reported that a local health service plan had been put in place.

We also said we understood the first to arrive would be in July, which we can now confirm.

A meeting of the refugee working group was held behind closed doors last night (Thursday).

Sources have indicated that approximately 16 families are due to arrive in Northern Ireland on Tuesday, June 28.

They will be taken to the Welcome Centre in Belfast initially.

But, early in July, they will be rehomed at locations within the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon borough.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive is currently trying to identify suitable properties to accommodate the new arrivals.

The Department of Communities and other statutory agencies have asked the council to support the relocation.

Officials have told councillors the issue is “very sensitive” and will be led by the Department of Communities.

A tight-lipped approach is being taken and they have decided – if asked – only to confirm a “supporting role” and give a ‘no further comment’ response.

That supporting role will mean preparing information on the ABC borough for the Home Office and facilitating meetings for the Department for Communities with all the relevant statutory and voluntary agencies, as well as keeping them up to date with an ever changing situation.

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