Support CDPs and Migrant-led organisations

Copy of a letter I sent to the Irish Times:

Ronit Lentin
Department of Sociology


The shortsightedness of the government’s plans to subsume community development projects in area partnerships (Letters, 25 November) was eloquently articulated by four community activists on Vincent Browne’s TV3 show on the same day. Cathleen O’Neill of Kilbarrack CDP, Rita Fagan of St Michael’s Family Resource Centre, Bronagh O’Neill of the Canal Equality Campaign and Margaret O’Shea of the Kerry Network for People with Disabilities highlighted the services CDPs provide, often by volunteers, to their communities, and the loss to theses communities of taking the projects away from the people they are serving. The transfer to area partnerships has been decided upon without consultation and it is evident that now more than ever CDPs are both ‘good value’ and essential in providing services such as childcare, after school care, programmes for women and disabled people, not provided by the state and local authorities. Continue reading “Support CDPs and Migrant-led organisations”

So what if she forged?

Pamela Izevbekhai with her children
Pamela Izevbekhai with her children

I am writing this before the case has been decided and before we know whether a Nigerian mother who is seeking asylum in Ireland for herself and her daughters is allowed to remain in Ireland.

Much has been said about Pamela Izevbekhai’s case. Her recent admission, on the Marion Finnucane show, that her asylum claim was based on forged documents provided a dramatic turning point not only in her own case, but in the whole complex relations between the Irish state and African, particularly Nigerian, asylum seekers.

Continue reading “So what if she forged?”

The end of (Irish) migration studies?

Translocations E journalTranslocations – the Irish inter-university ejournal for migration, race and social change – is in danger of closing. In NUI Cork, migration studies is threatened with closure. and what about Ireland’s other migration studies projects?

No one has heard from the Minister of Integration Conor Lenihan for weeks – once his budget was cut by 26%, he stopped making public appearances. Some might say that this is just we well, but the fact remains that the issues of immigration, and integration, and interculturalism, and equality seem off the agenda in the new climate of panicky economic meltdown. Migrants from Eastern Europe, we are being told, are going home in their thousands (a recent report in the Guardian put the figure at 1,200 per week returning to Poland from Britain and Ireland). Asylum applications are the lowest to date. And while deportations continue on the quiet, there is no talk about it. Nor have we heard much talk about language acquisition, education issues, service provision, housing.

Continue reading “The end of (Irish) migration studies?”