Getting Involved in Irish life

Getting involved in your local community is one of the best ways to meet new people and get to know about Irish life and society. There are many opportunities to become involved in Irish sporting, creative and community life. The following are just some examples of where you can become involved.

Local Sports Activities and Clubs

Becoming involved in sport can be a great way of meeting people while staying fit and active.

To learn about the different sports played in your locality, you can contact a Local Sports Partnership. There are Local Sports Partnerships located in each city and county council area in Ireland, which aim to increase participation in sporting activities at a local level. To find you local Partnership, visit this page of the Irish Sports Council website.

Volunteering and Community Activities

In Ireland, the voluntary work and financial assistance of members of the local community make an enormous contribution to sporting, creative, community and faith-based groups. Many local groups simply could not function without the time and effort which local people give free of charge.

Volunteering Ireland is the national volunteering development agency which promotes volunteering in local communities. The Volunteering Ireland website has information for people interesting in volunteering in English, Chinese, Czech, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Igbo, Yoruba, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Portuguese and Arabic. Additionally, your local Citizen's Information Centre may be able to point you in the direction of local organisations looking for volunteers.

Irish Links is an online directory listing Irish non-profit organisations. You can use this website to learn about volunteering opportunities with different organisations.

Many intercultural activities take place throughout the year which celebrate the diversity which increased immigration has brought to all aspects of Irish life and society. To find out about these activities and how you can become involved in them, go to the integration events section of this web page.

A number of ethnic-led support groups have been set up throughout the country. The New Communities Partnership (NCP) is a national network of over 70 such organisations. The mission of NCP is to be an effective network, representing and empowering minority ethnic-led groups, at all levels, in order to influence positive change in policies that impact on their lives. To find out more about minority ethnic-led groups in your area or the work of different organisations, visit this page.

Youth Activities

There are many creative, sporting and civic activities which young people can become involved in their local community. To find out more, visit a local Youth Information Centre or their website.

The National Youth Council of Ireland is the representative body for national voluntary youth organisations, which acts on issues which impact on young people. The website has links to member organisations. To find out about just some of the bodies with which you can become involved with, click on the following link.

Faith Communities

Faith-based groups have been very responsive to the arrival of migrants to Ireland in terms of providing support, assistance and information, and have provided spiritual and other supports to some of the most vulnerable members of society. The contribution of immigrants has re-invigorated many faith-based communities.

The All-Ireland Churches Consultation Meeting on Racism (AICCMR) have produced a Directory of Migrant-Led Churches and Chaplaincies as a resource for migrants, visitors to Ireland, the media, community groups, Christian churches and service providers. The data for the Republic of Ireland in this directory lists 327 migrant-led churches and chaplaincies.

For a list of Faith- based communities in Cork, see this link.

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