Five-year strategy to encourage migrant integration in the county

By Aideen O'Flaherty

South Dublin County Council launched a new five-year strategy to encourage migrant integration in South Dublin County on Monday.

The South Dublin County Council Integration Strategy 2019-2023 ‘A More Inclusive County’ was launched by Mayor Mark Ward in County Hall, and the five core themes of the strategy were also revealed.

Image 2 Soulworks Singers Photo Ben Ryan

Soulworks Singers perform at the launch. Photo: Ben Ryan

The core themes are inclusive communities, lifelong learning, enterprise and employment, health and wellbeing, and inclusive service delivery.

In his speech, Mayor Ward acknowledged the “positive contribution to South Dublin” that the migrant communities “have already made and will continue to make”.

The mayor went on to say that “the foundation of any strategy must be the lived experience of those it is intended to serve” and that “this is not just a strategy for South Dublin County Council alone, it is for the Country”.

Mayor Ward added that “the onus is on us all as partner organisations and individual citizens, to ensure the actions identified in ‘A More Inclusive County’ are realised.”

Fianna Fáil councillor for Rathfarnham, Deirdre O’Donovan, who is the chairperson of the Social and Community Strategic Policy Committee, described the strategy “as not a stand-alone document.

“It must underpin our approach to service delivery and inform our plans and policies across the council to ensure there are equal and fair opportunities for members of migrant communities.”

Daniela Jurj, a volunteer with the Romanian Community of Ireland and member of the South Dublin Migrant Integration Forum, spoke about the importance of the strategy for new communities in South Dublin and also her experience living and integrating into Ireland since moving here 18 years ago. 

Entertainment during the event was provided by a local choir from MacUillaim Estate, known as the Soulworks Singers, and there was a special performance by Nia Thekkumthala, a talented young dancer from India, who performed a traditional Indian dance.

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