On Thursday the 20th of October 2022, the Irish Refugee Council and Donegal Intercultural Platform are holding a public event to provide information on hosting refugees in County Donegal.

The event, taking place from 7 pm to 9 pm, is not related to State-provided accommodation or commercial interests. It is for people who are currently and those considering hosting refugees temporarily in their homes. Attendance is in person in the Colab Seminar Room of the Atlantic Technical University, Letterkenny. Further, there will be a public ‘drop-in’ session at the Donegal Intercultural Platform offices on Friday the 21st from 12 pm to 3 pm; to provide one on one support.

A panel of experts will provide guidance to hosts and answer practical questions around the legal basis of hosting arrangements, safeguarding, managing relationships, considering trauma and self-care. The speakers will be from the Irish Refugee Council, Donegal Intercultural Platform, the Irish Red Cross and Helping Irish Hosts; who are actively seeking hosts to place families and individuals in safety.

Advance registration available here

It is part of a series of nationwide events being organised jointly by organisations working with refugees namely the Irish Refugee Council, The Irish Red Cross, Helping Irish Hosts, Nasc and Doras; to support people who are willing to accommodate refugees temporarily in their homes.

Hosting refugees in family homes is one of Ireland’s responses to refugees arriving in Ireland. Before the outbreak of war in Ukraine, hundreds of Afghan and Syrian refugees found homes in Irish communities. To date, almost 55,000 refugees from Ukraine have arrived in Ireland and approximately 4,500 of those are now living in homes in communities across Ireland. Since the summer, people have been moved from student accommodation to counties across Ireland, including County Donegal, which has seen over 3,500 arrivals in recent months.

Rory O’Neill, the Irish Refugee Council’s Integration Projects Manager states:

"Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last August and the invasion of Ukraine in February, we have seen a profound outpouring of generosity from Irish communities as they offered to open their homes to people fleeing persecution. In many cases, people have been moved to act quickly to host those seeking safety in Ireland.

“We are consistently moved by the generosity of the Irish people to do what they can to help in response to successive global refugee crises, including the deeply personal commitment of sharing their homes. We have seen incredibly positive outcomes; not only for people looking to rebuild their lives in safety but also in bringing local communities together.

“As we continue to advocate for long term or permanent accommodation solutions, we are looking to engage with and support local hosts in County Donegal as they play a vital role in providing safety to people fleeing war persecution. Welcoming refugees into the community engenders deep empathy and compassion and ultimately enhances Ireland’s tradition of solidarity with people forced to uproot from their home countries.

“Through our experience as Regional Support Organisations under the Community Sponsorship Ireland programme, there will be a huge amount of expertise available on the night. We are looking forward to welcoming all who are interested.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The ‘Hosting Refugees in the Community’ event will be held on Thursday the 20th of October at 7pm at the CoLab Seminar Room, CoLab Building, Atlantic Technical University (ATU), Letterkenny, Eircode: F92PHF4

There are four Regional Support Organisations with responsibility for developing and delivering community sponsorship in Ireland. The four organisations are the Irish Refugee Council, Nasc, Doras, and the Irish Red Cross. Since the Ukraine War, we have partnered with Helping Irish Hosts who are actively placing people fleeing the war to Irish family homes.

Community Sponsorship was launched as a national programme in 2019. Communities can sponsor refugee families on resettlement lists to come to Ireland. The community sponsorship group receives training from their local Regional Support Organisation to prepare for the family’s arrival and to provide integration supports after arrival. To date, community sponsorship beneficiaries have primarily been Syrian refugees.

Wendy Muperi, Communications Officer, Irish Refugee Council
[email protected]

Rory O’Neill, Integration Projects Manager, Irish Refugee Council
[email protected]

Register for the event here