Irish Refugee Council Public Meeting

When: Saturday 5th March, 2016
Where: Woodquay Venue, Dublin

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This year’s AGM will be followed by a public meeting which will give us an opportunity to hear about and discuss some of the issues facing asylum seekers and refugees both in Ireland and beyond.  The speakers have direct experience of the situation in countries such as Lebanon, volunteering with refugees travelling across Europe or campaigning  for better rights and treatment for people going through the asylum process in Ireland. The discussion will start at 11.30am, please RSVP to Caroline.


sb3Bronagh Ćatibušić is a lecturer and researcher on language teaching, intercultural education and migration issues. She has a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Trinity College Dublin and works for St. Patrick’s College, DCU and Marino Institute of Education. She has undertaken research for the Council of Europe on responding to the needs of refugees and is an experienced English language teacher and resource developer. Recently, she did voluntary work in Croatia to support refugees passing through the Balkans. She has also been involved with the Bosnian community in Ireland since the 1990s.

Bronagh will speak about her time in Croatia assisting refugees over the Christmas period. You can read her blog about her time volunteering in Croatia and a letter she recently wrote to the Irish Times here.

zZHwQ6ya_400x400Dr. Shelley Deane is the Director of Brehon Advisory working on conflict, education, mediation and investment in the Middle East and North Africa. Formerly Assistant Professor of International Relations and Middle East Politics at Bowdoin College (USA) and Visiting Assistant Professor at Dartmouth College (USA), Shelley has researched and written on the security ramifications of the Syria crisis, the ending and mending of conflicts, mediation and negotiation, peace agreements, security pacts, factions, and states in transition. Shelley has mediation and institutional transitional reform experience in Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Palestine, the UAE and Ireland. Shelley has a PhD in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science, is a board member with GOAL UK, sits on the Arabtrans advisory board and is a visiting fellow at ISCTSJ at Queens University Belfast.

Shelley will speak about what’s happening in the Lebanon and neighbouring host states (Jordan and Turkey) and will discuss the decisions European states – like Denmark – are making.

Protection & Reception

Ellie Kisyombe has been in in the asylum process in Ireland for almost six years now. After being in this system for many years Ellie found a coping mechanism in becoming a campaigner and advocate for an end to Direct Provision. Ellie has spent the last year volunteering with Irish Refugee Council working on the campaign to end Direct Provision and was a key participant in public outreach and awareness raising activities. Ellie is also a member and organiser with City of Sanctuary Dublin, a long-time member of the Clondalkin Towers Residents Committee and a regular spokesperson (episode four) in the media relating to issues that affect Ireland’s asylum seeking and refugee community.

Recently, Ellie was flagged as one of the ‘People to Watch’ in 2016 for her activism by the Irish Times journalist Una Mullally. Ellie is currently doing an introductory course on Community and Youth Work, as well as being a full-time mum and active member of her community. Ellie wants to continue to explore and work on wider issues of social justice and Human rights.

Ellie will talk about life as an asylum seeker in Ireland and her consistent campaigning to promote the rights of people going through the asylum process here in Ireland, and the discredited reception system known as Direct Provision.