National Developments

This Office implements the Government commitment in relation to migrant integration on an ongoing basis mainly through financial assistance to projects promoting integration of immigrants and combatting racism.

Integration is a responsibility of all Governments Departments and public bodies in their appropriate sphere but the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration has a role in leading and coordinating work in the area.

Funding for Integration

In 2012, funding of around 1,295,844 was provided to organisations (mainly local authorities, sporting bodies and NGOs) to promote integration and tolerance. This is on a similar scale to 2011. Details of our funding policy are available here. A list of beneficiaries of our funding is available here. Details of some of the projects supported with our funding are set out below.

The Office also administers the European Refugee Fund and the European Integration Fund.

Labour Market Integration

One of our key programmes is the EPIC Programme (Employment of People from Immigrant Communities) which is managed on our behalf by Business in the Community. This expenditure is co-funded at 50% by the European Social Fund.

EPIC aims to assist both European Economic Area nationals and other immigrants who have the right to work in Ireland without a work permit to find employment and/or further training and education in Ireland. The programme includes training in English for work, interview skills, living and working in Ireland and IT.

Detailed information on the EPIC Programme is available on the webpage below -

Integration in Schools

received funding of €65,000 in 2012 to provide an integration programme in 18 schools.

Integration through Sport


The GAA plays a vital part in life in the towns and villages of Ireland, and is also an important focus in the larger cities. Since 2008, funding has been provided to build the capacity
to train leaders in the non-Irish population in Gaelic games and culture so that they feel playing GAA games will be a positive and heartening experience for members of their communities.
to train club personnel in how they can help non-Irish people become comfortable with the GAA culture.
At this stage, there are Inclusion and Integration Committees in Munster and there is an inclusion officer in every county in Connaught. These committees and inclusion officers have a voice/vote on their respective County Boards.

In 2012, the Office funded 50% of a GAA national inclusion officer's salary, the GAA Inclusion Forum and the GAA/SARI Intercultural Youth Forum.

Football Association of Ireland (FAI)

In 2012, OPMI provided €100,000 to the FAI for the purpose of encouraging, in the context of a more diverse Irish society, increased participation in football among people from minority ethnic and cultural backgrounds, whilst also combatting racism within the game and thereby contribute towards a more intercultural and integrated society. The Intercultural Football Programme has a number of core participation programmes within it e.g.
club open days,
adult futsal (indoor football) leagues and
urban youth blitzes.
FAI works closely with clubs, leagues and affiliates at all levels of the game to ensure that football environments deal proactively with discrimination. National League Clubs are responsible for implementing the UEFA 10 POINT Plan of Action against Racism for Professional Football Clubs. FAI also organises seminars for grassroots leagues, clubs & affiliates and they have developed anti-discrimination programmes for young people in schools.

Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA)

OPMI provided funding of €50,000 in 2012 towards the IABA Community Development Officers Programme. This aims to increase participation in the sport by young people from diverse backgrounds, breaking down racial and ethnic stereotypes that form barriers between people from different cultures in schools, youth clubs, recreational centres and sports festivals.

Support for Families

The Home Start Family Support Scheme provides support to parents of young children who are experiencing difficulties. It's been shown that mothers of pre-school children can be the most socially isolated members of society and, for immigrant parents, this isolation is often increased by language and cultural barriers, lack of money and contacts and ignorance of available local resources. Home-Start volunteers use home visits and family mornings where parents get together to build parents' confidence and enlarge their social circle, thereby integrating them into the local community.

Parents who have been supported by Home-Start often progress into education, employment and becoming Home-Start volunteers themselves where their personal experience and language skills are invaluable. As well as supporting the work of the Home-Start National Office and the North Fingal branch, OPMI funding has enabled Home-Start to provide information on their website in 6 additional languages and to ensure that recruitment and training of volunteers is designed so that they come from a range of backgrounds and have the experience and languages necessary to provide families with the greatest possible support.

Language Learning – Filte Isteach Programme

Filte Isteach
is a community project with older volunteers welcoming new migrants through conversational English classes. There are approximately 50 Filte Isteach projects throughout the country. Every week over 540 volunteers teach over 1,600 students from over 63 countries, collectively offering over a thousand hours of tuition each week. It is a unique project which utilises the skills, talents and expertise of older volunteers and harnesses their desire to contribute positively to society. Filte Isteach works at breaking down the barriers that migrants and communities face by extending the hands of friendship and goodwill through the practical, welcoming and inclusive manner in which the programme is delivered. In 2012, funding of €126,420 was granted to this project. Since 2008, a total of €484,830 has been provided to the project.

Anti-Racism Measures

Monitoring of Racist Incidents

The Office continues to monitor trends in racist incidents in consultation with An Garda Sochna, the Central Statistics Office and other relevant bodies including NGOs. Statistics on racist incidents and information on where to go to report a racist incident continues to be made available via quicklinks on the Home page of the Office website ( We also make available media reports about convictions for racially motivated offences. These are available here.

One City One People Campaign
See below information on this campaign which is supported by OPMI through funds channelled through Dublin City Council .

Creative Competition for Schools

OPMI has supported the Show Racism the Red Card Creative Competition for Schools and Youth Services with funding totalling €96,000 since 2009. This competition reaches into all schools. It is covered in the teaching union magazines, in the Irish Times Education pages, on RTE Children's TV and on other print and broadcast media. The players' associations and sporting organisations are also fully involved. Events are held around the country to launch the call for entries and the culmination in 2012 was the prize-giving in Aviva stadium where President Higgins made the presentations.

Public Service Executive Union (PSEU) Survey on racism 2012

OPMI asked the Equality Authority to support the PSEU in addressing issues raised in the survey. A small grant has been made available for this purpose.

Holocaust Education Trust Ireland (HETI)

aims to educate people about the Holocaust in order to combat anti-Semitism and all forms of racism and intolerance in Ireland. Unchecked intolerance in Europe resulted in the atrocity of the Holocaust. HETI raises awareness of the horrors perpetrated during the Holocaust to prevent any recurrence.

The Office funds HETI to organise the Annual Holocaust Memorial Day as part of a year long programme which operates throughout the year. This year, the event is taking place on Sunday 27 January. It feeds into the projects that involve Holocaust survivors speaking at schools, libraries and community centres. More than 5,000 senior school students and more than 2,000 members of the Irish public hear a survivor speak each year and each person takes home a Holocaust Memorial Day booklet. The Annual Memorial Event which takes place in the Mansion House each year is recorded on DVD, not only as an education resource but also as a record of all those who have participated in the programme. Some Holocaust survivors who spoke at the commemoration have since died but their testimony is recorded and available for future generations.

Advice on Citizenship Applications

OPMI has provided funding to the New Communities Partnership (NCP) to run a Citizenship Application Support Service (CASS) since 2011. This is a free support and information service to immigrants applying for naturalisation. Callers can ring a National Helpline or call to Drop in Clinics in Dublin City and County, Dun Laoghaire, Cork and Limerick. Callers speak to a trained experienced advisor who helps to explain exactly what documentation is needed for a successful application etc.

Intercultural Fora funded by OPMI

Intercultural Fora present an opportunity for migrants from different cultures and backgrounds to come together to discuss their integration experiences. Participants can express their opinions and raise issues that affect migrants on a daily basis. Migrant forums aim to ensure the development of coherent local/regional plans and policies that reflect the social, cultural and economic needs of ethnic minority groups in the area.

The following are examples of migrant fora operating at a local level in Ireland which receive financial support from our Office.

Dublin Area

Fingal Ethnic Network

(FEN) is a network of ethnic minority groups and individuals living in the Fingal County Council area. It was established by the Fingal Community Office and the Fingal Development Board and launched in August 2008. Since then, it has grown to include over 40 groups representing many ethnicities who live and work in Fingal.

The network aims to represent the collective views of the ethnic community so that they can influence and inform policy and planning countywide and also influence the organisations that operate within Fingal County.

South Dublin Migrants Forum

The Forum was formed by a number of migrant groups in the area in collaboration with South Dublin County Council, Dodder Valley Partnership and CPLN (Clondalkin, Palmerstown, Lucan and Newcastle) Partnership to provide an opportunity to members of the immigrant community in South County Dublin to collaborate, network and provide peer support on social inclusion and cultural diversity.

The mission of the South Dublin Migrant Integration Forum is to serve as a platform to help develop an inclusive, supportive, secure and intercultural community that is based on the principles of equality, diversity, healthy communication, social justice and mutual respect. With membership consisting of migrant community leaders and representatives in the area, the South Dublin Migrant Integration Forum also aims to disseminate information to migrant communities in South Dublin, provide a link between their communities and the local people, promote migrants' perspectives in policy matters within the County, provide a space where County officials can present topics of interest and inform migrant communities on developments in the County, among others. The South Dublin Migrant Integration Forum is also supported by the Dublin Employment Pact's 'Promoting Civic Participation of Third Country Nationals through Local Authority Platforms'.

Clondalkin Intercultural Dialogue Group

The intercultural group meets every two weeks in the Intercultural Centre in Clondalkin. The group has twenty four members and is actively involved in planning the new Global Garden in Corkagh Park.

The group members have developed strong bonds and socialise together regularly. In the past year, two of the group achieved Irish Citizenship and other members are preparing their applications. The group has explored issues of cultural practices, power, dialogue, and asset based community development. The group has also organised a number of social outings to further strengthen group cohesion.

Trcaire (an Irish third world aid charity) has recently supported the group to raise awareness on issues of Climate Justice and the group now plan to develop their website and launch the site by April 2013.

The group has now forged links with the local residents group in Cherrywood housing estate which is close to the Global Garden. A number of the residents from Cherrywood have committed to getting involved in the garden when garden preparation work is completed this spring. The Global Garden will be a focal point for community development as well as for good gardening practice.

Our Support to Local Authorities to Promote Integration

Dublin City Council

Dublin is 4th out of 41 cities listed by the Council of Europe as Intercultural Cities. OPMI has been supporting Dublin City Council in its
"One City One People" city-wide campaign against racism and discrimination since 2010. This was a campaign which used themed posters in buses, trains and Luas carriages, as well as other public spaces, and hosted exhibitions, seminars and entertainment events.
Cultural events as expressions of national identity, e.g. Chinese New Year, Africa Week, Diwali. These events combine arts, cultural, social and economic strands encouraging co-operation and integration across between different ethnic communities.
The Dublin City Integration Forum was established this year with the aim of enabling migrant groups to ensure that they, their ethos and needs will be represented at city level.
The first report of the Dublin City Interfaith Forum was published in 2012. This forum works with interested members of faith communities to provide the space and opportunity for Faith Communities to build relationships with and between Dublin City communities, statutory and voluntary organisations and the residents of Dublin City. The faiths participating in the project are Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. The project is not about interfaith dialogue - it is aimed at promoting collaboration between the different faith communities in fulfilling the integration agenda of Dublin City.

Tell Me More

Dublin City Public Libraries provides Tell Me More, an online language learning program. Students can learn English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch through the medium of 19 interface languages. These are: English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Hungarian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Slovak, Turkish, Russian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese.

South Dublin County Council

Funding was provided in 2012 to support
Clondalkin Intercultural Centre open day in Social Inclusion Week (5th-12th November)
Tallaght Intercultural Centre Open Day
Social Inclusion Night
South Dublin Migrant Forum

    Meath County Council

    OPMI provided interim funding to Cultr - a community organisation that works with migrants, promoting equal rights and opportunities to develop an intercultural County Meath. It aims to ensure that migrants feel empowered to identify their needs and interests and to participate in the development of policy in the Meath area.

    Resettlement Programme

    Ireland is one of 15 EU countries and 26 countries internationally involved in Resettlement. The Office works with the UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration alongside Consular Services, Irish Aid and the Department of Foreign Affairs in making arrangements to admit programme refugees to Ireland. Once the families arrive in Ireland, the resettlement team works with a range of Government Departments, other public service organisations including local authorities and non governmental organisations to assist with the resettlement of individuals and families. The focus in 2012 was on the strategic use of resettlement and included resettlement of a number of medical cases (5 serious medical cases – a total of 22 persons including immediate families) and 10 persons from Malta as part of a burden sharing exercise to relieve pressure on the immigration system there. A total of 49 persons were admitted in 2012 and were resettled in Dublin and Kildare.
    Activity 2012
    Resettled RefugeesNationalityCountry of Refuge
    5Iranian KurdIraq
    5EgyptianRussian Federation
    1Eritrean Ethiopia
    3EthiopianRussian Federation
    20DR CongoleseTanzania
    TOTAL: 39
    Relocated RefugeesNationalityCountry of Refuge
    TOTAL: 10
    Total 2012: 49
    You can find more information about our work on the resettlement of programme refugees in Ireland in this section of the integration website.

    Resettlement in Co. Kildare

    Seven Sudanese and three Eritrean families admitted to Ireland in 2011 were resettled in Naas in January 2012 with the support of Kildare County and City Councils. This Office provided resettlement funding to local organisations to support the resettlement and to build links with the local community. During 2012, a part-time resettlement co-ordinator was appointed, a very active volunteer group supported the families in the early days post arrival, a homework club was established and sports initiatives were developed to help build bridges between the new arrivals and the existing community. Support was provided for childcare to ensure that the adults could attend language training. County Kildare LEADER Partnership (CKLP), a local development organisation with responsibility for the delivery of a range of rural, enterprise, social inclusion, and community development initiatives in County Kildare continues to support the two communities as they build their new lives in Naas.

    Visit to Ballymore Eustace Primary School

    On 26th November, 2012, Ballymore Eustace Primary School invited the refugees to come in with CKLP staff to talk to the 5th and 6th class on the topic of immigration, with particular reference to the experience of refugees. The children's curriculum covers the Irish famine of the 1840s and how people are driven from their homes by famine and war. The refugees spoke of their first-hand experience of these troubles in their own homeland and how they hoped their families would now find a safe and peaceful home in Ireland.

    Meetings with Stakeholders

    Staff from the Office held a number of meetings throughout the year with officials from statutory bodies, embassy officials, representatives of NGO and civil society groups (e.g. ENAR – the Irish Network against Racism, the Immigrant Council of Ireland, the Integration Centre, the New Communities Partnership etc), researchers, as well as visiting experts and academics from different countries.

    Attendance at Integration/anti-racism Related Events

    Staff attended numerous integration related events such as the Annual Holocaust Memorial event, the Garda Diversity Day at Dublin Castle, the Show Racism the Red Card prizegiving in Aviva Stadium, the launch of the Integration Centre’s Annual Monitoring report on Integration 2012, UNHCR World Refugee Day, the MAMA awards etc in 2012.

    Circulation of Information

    The Office continued to keep migrants, representative groups as well as embassy officials aware of new resources of interest developed, changing conditions attached to various schemes and material developed specifically for migrants in a range of languages through its website and mailing lists.


    During 2012, the website for the Office ( continued to be developed. This website highlights the work of the Office, provides information on European and national funding streams managed by the Office, the programme refugee resettlement programme and informs migrants about how they can access key services such as education, housing and English language classes. It also informs migrants and interested stakeholders of developments in integration and diversity management taking place at the national and international level and provides links to relevant websites and to various multilingual resources which have been developed by a range of service providers specifically for migrants. One innovation was the development of a new section "Migrants in the Media” which links to stories in the newspapers or on TV or radio about migrants who have made their home in Ireland.