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Navan gives racism the Red Card

- project hosts seminar By AISLING O’NEILL development worker MEATH, as one of the fastest growing counties in Ireland, has become home to many nationalities. Unfortunately, racism has raised its ugly head and Navan CDP actively opposes racism and acknowledges that it is time to recognise diversity and challenge racism in Meath. The CDP took action locally in April by running a high-profile seminar on the issue. Over 140 people from schools, general public, government agencies and voluntary groups attended. The speakers came from trade unions, sports organisations and community groups. A key theme was ‘Giving Racism the Red Card’. Frank Buckley from Sports Against Racism Ireland (SARI) talked about the need to recruit what he termed ‘New Irish’ into sports clubs in Ireland. SARI organise soccer tournaments that are made up of teams from different

Mary McMahon, volunteer manager with Navan CDP .

changing ireland


Back: Mary Brennan, Eddie Dewar and Joe Reilly – all three are Navan CDP volunteers; Dr. Livingstone Thompson, migrants rights co-ordinator with Cultur; Maureen Cahill, Navan CDP administrator; Eileen Dewar, Navan CDP chairperson; Frank Buckley, Mary Ikeana and Eloho Egwuterai of S.A.R.I. Front: Sandra Okome, Health Promotion Dept.; Rose Englishby, Navan CDP volunteer; Aisling O’Neill, Navan CDP community development worker; Mary McMahon, Navan CDP volunteer; Angela O’Toole, Navan CDP co-ordinator; Alice Davis, LIR; and Ciara Murphy, Navan CDP volunteer.

parts of the world. Des Tomlinson of the FAI noted the lack of recorded data on just how much racism there is on the soccer fields and urged the GAA to follow the FAI’s lead in tackling racism in sport. He explained how the FAI have developed a 10-point action plan to challenge racism. The seminar was opened by the Claremont Stadium Choir and the newly appointed CDP Chairperson, Eileen Dewar. Jennifer Wallace of the National Consultative Committee on Racism in Ireland chaired the seminar. Making a strong impact, Dr. Livingstone Thompson explained the origins of racism and dispelled some of the myths and presumptions people make about those of different colour and/ or ethnic origin. He was followed by equally passionate speakers: - Anton McCabe (SIPTU) showed a video and although short was extremely poignant and highlighted how anybody, from any background can be affect by racism or exclusion from social places or their workplace. He went on to discuss diversity in the workplace in further detail. - Alice Davis (Lir) introduced some statistical evidence of the trends of immigrants and refugees coming to Ireland over the past few years. - Yemi Ojo who is president of the Integration of African Children in Ireland (IACI) network highlighted the challenges facing ethnic minorities/migrants in a multicultural Ireland. - Eamonn Matthews from Excel Print, talked of the positive contribution new Irish communities bring to the workplace. - Brian Havern, Garda Ethnic Liaison Officer explained how the Gardai were adapting to embrace the new changes in Ireland. - Martin-Joe Joyce, of the Navan Travellers Workshop, gave a personal insight into how it feels to be at the receiving end of racism and discrimination.


- Pastor Morris Ndiyo, of the Jesus House Christian Church, Navan, looked forward to building a society that was for the common good of everyone. Song followed when the Navan Educate Together National School performed their ‘Assembly on South Africa’ which celebrated the life of Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa. The seminar was part of a programme by Navan CDP to support cultural integration and promote social inclusion and to address the increasing levels of racism in Meath. Community Development Project Navan – to use the official title - is Meath’s first and only CDP. The project’s origins go back to 1997.

Volunteers applauded in Navan NAVAN CDP was among the hundreds of groups countrywide that celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8th. Hosted by chairperson Mary McMahon and co-ordinator, Angela O’Toole, more than 100 people from the local community gathered in Claremont Stadium, for a discussion with prominent local businesswomen and female community leaders. In addition the unpaid time and leadership given by the Navan CDP’s own management committee was recognised when female members received a surprise presentation. Acknowledged for their contribution to the success of Navan CDP were; Mary McMahon, Helen Callan, Rose Englishby, Eileen Dewar, Kay Kearns, Deirdre Gorman and Julie Churchill and Eileen Dowdall. “bad luck” causes poverty? yeah, right!



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