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Limerick Integration Strategy Going According To Plan

Twelve months on from the launch of the Limerick City and County Integration Plan 2010–12, significant progress has been made in the delivery of actions supporting the integration of Limerick’s estimated 16,000 migrants into society.

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March 25, 2011 (FPRC) -- That is according to the Limerick Integration Working Group (IWG) which today launched the first annual progress report of the Plan, entitled ‘Integrating Limerick: Progress Report 2010’.

The priority actions outlined in the Plan include enhancing participation of all communities in the social and cultural life of Limerick City and County; improving representation of minority communities in local governance and representative groups; providing equal opportunities for all by improving accessibility to rights and services, information and training; and promoting the acquisition of English language skills by migrants and integration in the mainstream education system.

Actions delivered during 2010 include:
- The establishment of the ESOL Partnership in response to the growing demand for English language courses experienced by service providers in the Limerick region
- The development of the initial phase of the Integrating Limerick website
- Training, mentoring and networking opportunities provided to encourage migrants to start their own businesses
- Development of a guide ‘Migrant Rights, Entitlements and Services in the Limerick region’
- Hosting of the ‘Living with Dignity: Promoting Social Inclusion in Limerick’ seminar
- All Community Gardai received Intercultural Training
- Launch of the Mid West Interfaith Network
- Hosting of Limerick’s first intercultural soccer festival, Limerick Sixes Soccer World Cup
- Integration related art and photographic exhibitions were held

Commenting on the publication of the first annual report of the plan IWG Joint Chairperson Eugene Quinn (Jesuit Refugee Service) said that despite the challenging environment, 2010 was a year of considerable progress in delivering actions committed to in Integrating Limerick: Limerick City and County Integration Plan 2010-12.

“Specific measurable achievements with outcomes quantified are detailed in this Progress Report in each of the priority areas of work. Progress was not limited to actions committed to in the Integration Plan; in addition, a huge range of integration activities were completed in the areas of arts, sports, interfaith and social inclusion during 2010. Looking forward to 2011 and beyond, the Limerick Integration Working Group will aim to build on the substantial progress achieved in 2010 and work towards the full implementation of the Integration Plan 2010–12”, he stated.

Karen McHugh (Doras Luimní), Joint Chairperson of the Limerick Integration Working Group added: “The Integration Working Group would like to thank all organisations, groups and residents of Limerick city and county, from both migrant and local communities, who have actively and generously supported a wide range of integration events during 2010. By fully implementing the Integration Plan we hope to promote a vibrant, inclusive and dynamic society in Limerick in which all residents are valued, regardless of their nationality, religion or ethnic background”.

Operating under the Social Inclusion Measures Committees of both Limerick City and County, the IWG was established in 2007 with the aim of bringing together statutory, community and voluntary bodies to address integration needs of migrant and host communities in Limerick. A key objective of the IWG was to develop an Integration Plan for both local authority areas.

IWG member groups include Limerick City Council, Limerick County Council, Doras Luimní, An Garda Síochána; Ballyhoura Development Ltd.; Citizens Information Board; City of Limerick VEC; County Limerick VEC; City Community and Voluntary Forum; Department of Social Protection; Doras Luimní; FÁS; Health Service Executive; Integrating Centre; Jesuit Refugee Service Ireland; Limerick Filipino Community; Limerick Latvian Activity Centre; New Communities Partnership; PAUL Partnership; University of Limerick; and West Limerick Resources.

The Progress Report was launched today in the Hunt Museum by Jan O’Sullivan TD, Minister of State, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for Trade and Development.

Also in attendance were Cllr. Mary Jackman, Deputy Cathaoirleach, Limerick County Council; Cllr. Michael Hourigan, Deputy Mayor, Limerick City Council; Mihai Bilauca, ICT Department, Limerick City Council; Anne Marie Gleeson, Enterprise Development Officer, Paul Partnership; Jacques Lobe, Development Officer, New Communities Partnership; Vispi Shroff, Avestan Consulting, Mentor and member of Mid-west Interfaith Network; and Hugh Maguire, Director of The Hunt Museum, Limerick.

Entertainment was provided by the Limerick Filipino Community – Winners of the Most Entertaining Group Award at Limerick St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2011.

For further information on “Integrating Limerick: Limerick City and County Integration Plan 2010-12” telephone 061-480922 or visit www.limerick.ie/integration/interculturallimerick.

-ENDS-

Notes To Editor:
- Eugene Quinn, Joint Chair of the Limerick Integration Working Group (086-8214888) is available for interview and further comment.
- Images relating to today’s event are available on request. Copies of the Progress Report also are available. Please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or media@dunphypr.com.


Send an email to Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR
00353868534900



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