A number of children evacuated from Chernobyl by a Mayo charity were left stranded at Dublin Airport as Tusla were not made aware of their arrival.

The Irish Independent is reporting this morning that child protection officers at Dublin Airport refused to grant entry visas for 59 children classed as “unaccompanied minors” until vital child protection screening was carried out.

The group of children, aged between 4 and 17, were among 113 children evacuated from Chernobyl by the Mayo-based charity Candle of Grace.

The children had been travelling since Sunday and arrived in Dublin yesterday on board a flight from Poland subsidised by Ryanair.

The charity's founder Lily Luzan acknowledged she did not inform Tusla of the children's arrival due to safety concerns, and said she was just on a mission to get them here safely.

While some of the children evacuated from Chernobyl were accompanied by their parents or guardians, 59 were classed as unaccompanied minors.

The airport says unaccompanied minors have to be screened for child protection reasons.

Buses chartered to transfer the children and their parents to three hotels in Mayo waited for up to 10 hours.

All of the children were finally granted entry visas.

 

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