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Monaghan: working towards becoming a Town and County of sanctuary

Monaghan is working towards becoming a Town and County of sanctuary. On 13th December they are launching the programme alongside a Celebration of Culture with story telling from a group of trained women. There is a strong sense of partnership and commitment in this group. Read here for more detail.
Monaghan, in spite of its distance from Dublin, sent a group of ten to the National Conference last November and have been working steadily on initiatives ranging from English classes to Sanctuary in Sports. The group has kept in touch with new friends made in Northern Ireland and are busy looking for ways to implement the Schools of Sanctuary resource book for their own curriculum.

 Failte Isteach took part in the St Patrick’s Day parade, judged as the best interpretation of the theme; Monaghan a place for everyone. A group of ladies took part in the Mini Marathon. They had a great day despite the weather and enjoyed the hospitality of the Irish Refugee Council after the event. The Monaghan Immigration Support Group arranged for the children in Direct Provision to take part in summer camps, GAA,swimming, soccer and gymnastics. St Patrick’s Accomodation Centre’s residents had an outing to the Zoo in October and the sun shone all day. Next event is an open day at the local Garda Station.

 The newest venture is a Language Cafe, Migrants are teaching their own languages to local people, with Spanish, French, Arabic, Russian and of course Irish tutors will be available.

Sanctuary in Politics Monaghan style is alive and well, with Joe O Brien from the Immigrant Council of Ireland conducting a workshop on Irish Politics. All who attended registered to vote in local elections. The local councilors were invited to make a presentation to the asylum seekers later that day. Watch this space; the rest of the country has much to learn from this new and lively group.


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