Longford Intercultural Strategic Plan 2018-2022 Longford County Council support the Sanctuary Runners’ group with specially designed tops
The Mayor of Longford Council Cllr. Michael Carrigy officially handed over new specially designed running tops to the local Sanctuary Runner group bearing the county’s unique logo. The Council provided funding for this initiative through their intercultural grants scheme which supports a wide variety of intercultural activities. This initiative focusses on solidarity, friendship and respect between the local community and those asylum seekers living in the Richmond Court Hotel in Longford town. The all-male accommodation centre is one of 35 Direct Provision sites across the country and accommodates 80 people.
The Sanctuary Runners in Longford was established in 2019 by Gavin McHugh. Gavin stated that “The local parkrun group has been amazing, and we run most Saturday mornings down at the Mall in our blue tops. The whole point of the group is not just to help the guys in the centre to run but to get Irish people running with them and we’ve had so many local people join the group. We focus on solidarity, friendship and respect and its so important for everyone to be physically active – but especially for those living in Direct Provision.”
A group of 40 Sanctuary Runners took part in last year’s Abbot Longford Marathon with a group making the trip from Dublin and its hoped an even bigger team will take part this summer, some running the 5k distance - but others taking on the full or half marathon challenge.
Gavin stated that “This initiative is simple but powerful. It benefits both the Irish people who may never had chatted to an asylum seeker before to better understand the immigration system and those with in. At the same time, it helps these young men, many who are struggling, to better understand Irish culture and to make friendships with local people. It builds a very important bridge between the two communities and helps us to see all we have in common rather than focus on any differences that may exist between us,” said Sanctuary Runners’ founder and national coordinator Graham Clifford.
The new running tops are emblazoned with the words ‘Sanctuary Runners Longford’ on the front and the county crest. And on the back the words ‘Solidarity, Friendship, Respect.’ Recently the Sanctuary Runners was named as Ireland’s ‘Best Community Sports Group’ in the country at the All Ireland Community and Council Awards in Croke Park.
Training course for frontline staff in key agencies and in the community/voluntary sector
Longford County Council organised a training course entitled Building Cultural Competence and Diversity Awareness in the Workplace’ for frontline staff in key agencies and in the community/voluntary sector working with new communities. The course was delivered by the Immigrant Council of Ireland. 22 participants attended the training which took place on Monday the 25th of November in the Longford Arms Hotel.
Official launch of the Longford Intercultural Strategic Plan
Cathaoirleach Luie Mc Entire officially launched Longford Intercultural Strategic Plan on Tuesday the 18th of December in Longford County Council. Ciaran Murphy Chairperson of Longford Intercultural Working Group welcomed everyone to the launch. The Intercultural Working Group provided a platform to raise issues across the agencies and the community for the Plan. Uruemu Adejinmi spoke about her role as a member of the group and Eric Ehigie a student of Moyne Community School and a member of the national executive of second level students in Ireland spoke of his vision for the future and the benefits of all communities working together. The CEO of Longford County Council Paddy Mahon thanked and acknowledged the role played by Dr. Shelley Deane of Brehon Advisory in preparing the Plan. Students from Moyne Community School provided a range of musical entertainment at the event representing traditional Irish and African music.
Please use the link below to view The Longford Intercultural Strategic Plan 2018-2022
Intercultural-Strategic-Plan.pdf (size 39.7 MB) Mary Carlton Reynolds, Adrian Greene, Paddy Mahon, Luie McEntire, Eric Ehigie, Lionel Mullally, Laura McPhillips, Ciaran Murphy, Uruemu Adejinmi, Tony Gibban (D.E.A.S.P.) Mick Cahill, Slavek Kazek (Midlands Polish Comm. Ass.) Paul Ross, Gerry Warnock, Joe Flaherty, Paddy Mahon, Eric Ehigie, Lionel Mullally,Ciaran Murphy, Laura McPhillips, Barbara Heslin, Siobhan Cronogue, Luie McEntire, Uruemu Adejinmi, Sinead Mullally, Graham Kane FAI Dev. Officer) Eyimofe Teyo Lewal, Samuel Adetunji,Eric Ehigie, Sinead Mullally, Jessica Smith, Kate Sexton, Declan Hagan, Erin Smyth, Adora Omotia, Ayo Alaba, Gospel Idahor, Toiu Onayemi