Representatives from Local Authorities across Ireland gathered in Athlone for a specially organised conference, opened by the Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality, Mr. David Stanton T.D.
The conference, “Supporting Integrated Communities: Linking National and Local Action on Migrant Integration”, discussed Ireland’s strategy to improve the integration of migrants into local communities.
Minister Stanton stated:
The conference was hosted by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration (OPMI) at the Department of Justice and Equality and chaired by Oonagh Buckley, Deputy Secretary General of the Department of Justice and Equality. Delegates explored ways that local and national government can work together to ensure that migrants can play a full part in Ireland’s cities, towns and rural communities.
The one-day conference included a number of guest speakers:
- Ekain Larrinaga Muguruza is in charge of the Immigration and Interculturality Unit in the Getxo City Council (Basque Country, Spain)
- Sølve Særtre works for the City of Bergen (Norway), as a special advisor in the Department for Social Affairs.
- Dr. Robin Wilson, an independent researcher based in Belfast, serves as adviser to the Council of Europe on intercultural integration.
In addition, an afternoon workshop was facilitated by Joe O’Brien, Integration Outreach Officer with the Immigrant Council of Ireland. Officials from OPMI presented an update on Ireland’s Migrant Integration Strategy, a cross-governmental strategy that includes actions for implementation by Local Authorities, State Agencies and Government Departments.