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Andy Pollak -- Acting Chairperson

Andy is Secretary of Schools of Sanctuary Ireland and a founding leader of the Sanctuary in Politics programme.  He is the son of a Jewish political refugee who fled the Czech Republic during the upheaval of World War 2. Andy was the founding director (1999-2013) of the Centre for Cross Border Studies and brings vast cross-border experience to Places of Sanctuary Ireland. A renowned journalist, he was religious affairs correspondent, education correspondent, assistant news editor and Belfast reporter with the Irish Times. In the early 1990s he was co-ordinator of the Opsahl Commission, the independent ‘citizen’s inquiry’ into ways forward for Northern Ireland. He is the co-author of a biography of Rev Ian Paisley and a biography of Seamus Mallon. Andy is also a board member of Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre.

Rosemary Angel Kunene --- Board Member

Rosemary Kunene is a community activist and a social entrepreneur. Her passion is working with people, promoting personal development and community empowerment for the marginalised groups of people in particular people living in Direct Provision centres and people with refugee status. She believes in meaningful integration, presently, she is joint chairperson of Laois Integration Network. She founded Voice of Migrants Ireland to encourage community participation for people living in Direct Provision Centres in County Laois. Founder and Coordinator of Dignity Partnership, a social enterprise that provides self-employment and internship support services to people who have or are living in Direct Provision Centre. She is a graduate of Social Entrepreneur Ireland 2019 academy and Sanctuary in Politics graduate  2017.

Francis McEvoy -- Treasurer

Francis, a Chartered Accountant and Financial Advisor, joined the Board in September 2016. He brings a wealth of experience to the Board having worked in the charity sector since 2002. Francis also volunteers with the City of Sanctuary Dublin Group.

Philip Berman -- Board Member

Philip, a retired senior hospital manager, was the first Chairperson of Places of Sanctuary Ireland. For the major part of his career he was Director of the European Healthcare Management Association and is currently a Commissioner of the Accreditation Commission on Colleges of Medicine and also a board member of Immigrant Council Ireland and City of Sanctuary UK.  He is a member of the Irish Red Cross International Advisory Group, represents the Irish Red Cross on PERCO (the Platform for European Red Cross Cooperation on Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants) and also advises the Irish Red Cross on migration policy.

Brother Kevin Mascarenhas -- Board Member

Kevin, a Presentation Brother, is one of the founders of Waterford Place of Sanctuary, the first City of Sanctuary group in Ireland. He brings vast experience in the refugee sector and has been the Director of the Information and Support Unit (ISU) at Edmund Rice Centre in Waterford since 2006. He has also been involved in other parts of the community and voluntary sector and has experience with homeless people and refugees in inner city Dublin as well as Waterford. Kevin has lived in five different cultures since leaving his birthplace in Pakistan, which helps him empathise with new citizens and asylum seekers. 

Jacqueline Phiri-- Board member

Jacqueline Phiri is an active member of City of Sanctuary Galway group. She is currently studying Civil Law at NUI Galway. Jacqueline has strong beliefs about the empowering nature of education in integration and in fostering acceptance and tolerance in society, and ultimately eliminating discrimination. She is actively involved in the NUI Galway University of Sanctuary Initiative, and was involved in launching the pilot scheme of An Cosan in Galway in 2017. An active volunteer in Galway City and one of the recipients of Mayors Award 2018 as a member of the Residence Committee. Jacqueline believes that barriers in society can only be brought down through dialogue, and she sees her volunteering work as an opportunity to give back, but above all to share life stories and shared life experiences that will promote understanding in society, because it is rightly said that the greatest distance between two people is misunderstanding.

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