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Tears as cherished Chernobyl children arrive for Christmas

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Adi Roche

Adi Roche

Chernobyl children

Chernobyl children

Adi Roche and children

Adi Roche and children

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Adi Roche

IF there was ever any fear that the true spirit of Christmas was being forgotten amid a flurry of shopping, it was dispelled yesterday at Dublin Airport.

The true magic of the season was reflected in the faces of children from Chernobyl as they were swept up into loving arms in the arrivals hall.

Thirty children and young people from special needs institutions flew in from Belarus to spend the festive season with Irish families.

affection

It is a vital life-prolonging holiday for them with the benefit of fresh air, wholesome food and love and affection from their Irish 'families'.

Adi Roche, the voluntary chairperson of Chernobyl Children International (CCI), wiped away tears as she watched the scenes unfold.

Trina Gilchriest from Oldtown in Dublin was delighted to take home Maryna Malinovskaya (11). She was abandoned at birth but is now making great progress thanks to CCI carers.

Trina's sister, Sine, also welcomed a little girl, Alena, to her home. It is the first time the 14-year-old has left the institution since she was abandoned as a baby.

"Christmas starts today for us - this is one of the most heart-warming moments of the year for me," said Adi.

hnews@herald.ie


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