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UN International Day of Families 2010

Day of Families Celebrated in Dublin

Dublin, Ireland - A symposium at the Lantern Interfaith Centre in central Dublin on May 18 addressed the theme of this year's UN International Day of Families: The Impact of Migration on Families around the World. A distinguished group of speakers presented papers related to the symposium topic.

Speakers included Mr. Declan Hayden, community development co-coordinator, Dublin City Council; Joy Quintana, consul general of the Philippine Embassy to Ireland; Mr. Grzegorez Jagielski, consular assistant of the Polish Embassy to Ireland; Mr. Roberto Samson, development officer, Catholic Youth Care, Ireland; Mr. Ahmad Ali from Milltown Mosque, Dublin; Dr. Jasbir Puri, director, Punjabi Society of Ireland, and Mr. Abdul Haseeb, editor of Muslim Ireland magazine.

Each of the speakers shared from a different perspective about how the issue of immigration has impacted their life or how they are dealing with some of the challenges involved. These included issues such as integration into Irish society, dealing with racial and religious stereotyping, children’s education and the challenge of the recession in Ireland.

The speaker from the Polish Embassy, Mr. Jagielski, pointed out that over the past ten years around 200,000 Poles have moved to Ireland, with many of them making it their new home. He pointed out that religious and other similarities between the Polish and the Irish meant that his compatriots did not experience too much difficulty in “fitting into” Irish society.

On the other hand, Dr. Puri of the Punjabi Society of Ireland spoke of challenges faced by members of the Sikh community, whose distinct dress code sometimes has made them targets of discrimination.

Mr. Hayden from the Dublin City Council outlined how the city government is working to create a welcoming environment for those making Dublin their home and also explained about government policies regarding immigration.

Mr. Samson from Catholic Youth Care covered a wide range of issues affecting recent immigrants to Ireland, particularly in the areas of social policy, employment and legal issues, and Mr. Ali spoke humorously about how Muslims have had to adjust to the particular Irish character and customs.

Summing up at the end, Mr. Jack Corley, the director of UPF Ireland and coordinator of the symposium, spoke of the importance of the family being the central institution that can help new generations to learn tolerance, compassion and love and be the foundation for a peaceful and healthy society.

The program ended with participants discussing the presentations while enjoying refreshments prepared by an international group of student volunteers working in Ireland for the past five months – truly representing the spirit of integration.


UN Day of Families: Ireland

For more information about UPF chapters' celebrations of the International Day of Families, click

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