17 August 2021

A group of 12 organisations working on Migrant, Asylum and Refugee rights have written to the Irish government calling for Ireland to lead in its response to the unfolding crisis. A copy of the letter is available here.

Welcoming the initial commitment to offer 150 people humanitarian admission to Ireland, plus commitments to prioritise family reunification the letter recommended other important actions. These include:

  • Use the unfilled resettlement places from 2020 and 2021 to resettle Afghan refugees
  • Increase the number of humanitarian admission visas given to people at risk of persecution in Afghanistan
  • Ensure international protection is provided to Afghan protection applicants currently in Ireland through an expedited process
  • Fast track family reunion applications and broaden criteria
  • Ensure Afghan people have access to the international protection process in Ireland

 Speaking on behalf of the signatories of the letter, Nick Henderson, CEO of the Irish Refugee Council said:

“We believe, through membership of the Security Council, and other diplomatic channels, Ireland can continue to show strong humanitarian leadership on this issue. However this needs to be backed up by concrete actions, domestically and internationally.

“Ireland can use its existing resettlement programme to resettle Afghan refugees. According to UNHCR there are currently 96,000 Afghan people in neighbouring countries in need of protection. There are at least 1,100 unfilled resettlement places from 2020 and 2021. We are recommending that at least a 1,000 Afghan refugees are resettled.

“We can also expedite applications from Afghan people in Ireland and provide them international protection. There are currently around 211 Afghan people living in Direct Provision.”

“Family reunification can also be fast tracked so family members, many of whom are likely to be in danger, can leave.”

“Approximately 97 Afghan people were refused leave to land in Ireland between 1 January 2020 and 31 May 2021, people in this situation need to be given access to the protection process if needed.”



Nick Henderson, 0858585559

County Clare celebrates Africa Day on 25th May, 2021. Africa Day is celebrated around the world and is an opportunity to acknowledge a diverse and important group of people who enrich and make a valuable contribution to Irish society.

This year, in the absence of a live event, Clare County Council, in collaboration with the Association of Nigerian Community in Clare and the Clare Immigrant Support Centre, has created a video with a wide variety of content sharing African Irish culture in Clare. The video production is sponsored by Irish Aid.

The Mayor of Clare, Mary Howard at the launch of the Easter Tree of Hope at Water Park House Drumbiggle Road Ennis Co. Clare. Also in the picture Orla Ni Eili & Jo Walsh – Clare Immigrant Support Centre, Anna Scanlan- Inisowiacy Polish Folk Group.


A joint initiative of Inisowiacy Polish Folk Group, Clare Immigrant Support Centre and the Polish Arts Festival Limerick, the Easter Tree of Hope aims to allow local people to decorate their own Easter egg in a Slavic style and hang the decoration at a specially designated tree at Waterpark House. There will be a similar tree in the People’s Park in Limerick. The tree selected in Ennis was planted by members of the Polish Community during the Polska Eire Festival in 2016. Marcin Piotrowski one of those present on the evening the tree was planted and who has recently returned to live in his native Poland was quoted as saying “I’m proud that the roots of tradition we planted are alive and well in Ennis”.

The initiative includes two online videos demonstrating how you can decorate your own egg by traditional methods and a video exploring Easter tradition in Eastern Europe, including Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Of course there is also a look at old Easter traditions in Ireland, Jo Walsh a director of Clare Immigrant Support Centre recalls the “whip the herring procession” which in modern times has almost vanished. The videos are available to watch at www.inisowiacy.com

The videos feature musical input from prominent Polish musician Przemyslaw Lozowski from Lublin, Poland, and the videos were produced by Liliana Wojciechowska of LilyTv based in Limerick.

Anna Scanlan of Inisowiacy Polish Folk Group commented that ‘’the initiative was important as it demonstrates the cultural diversity in Ennis and gives people an opportunity to share their traditions online during a difficult time’’. Justyna Cwojdzinska director of the Polish Arts Festival in Limerick who is co-ordinating the Limerick event said “we hope our videos inspire you to decorate your own egg and bring it to our tree of hope so we can all share in the Easter hope as a community’’

Orla Ni Eili the Co-ordinator of Clare Immigrant support centre mentioned that over eighty different nationalities currently live in Clare, and while not all nationalities share in the Easter Religious traditions, it gave the entire community a chance to decorate an egg to share in the community spirit and hope for the future.

The event organisers and the municipal district  have reminded us to comply with Social distancing when bringing your egg to The Tree of Hope. The gates of Waterpark House will be open on Easter Saturday, Sunday and Monday to facilitate hanging eggs on the tree.


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Rethink Ireland
Departemt of Justice and Equality
Government of Ireland
Government of Ireland
European Union AMIF
Departemt of Justice and Equality
The Dormant Accounts Fund
Clare County Council
This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund 2014 - 2020 and is supported by the Department of Justice and Equality.

Clare Immigrant Support Centre
Unit 6
Clonroad Business Park
Co. Clare 
V95 CV06

Tel: 065 682 2026
Mob: 085 267 1278
Email: ciscennis@gmail.com

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