Archive for the ‘diversity’ Category

The Ironies of Irish multiculturalism

A letter I sent to the Irish Times on 24 December 2009


Fintan O’Toole’s (spot-on as ever) article on the ironies of the Bishops’ multiculturalism (December 22, 2009, has broader ironic implications.

One irony relates to the church’s role in migrant integration. Having lost their key role in education and health service provision, Catholic religious orders have been working with migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. While extremely useful, many of the projects initiated by relilgious orders are run by white, Christian, settled Irish people, without giving leadership roles to migrants and other racialised people. This top down, and at time destructive approach means that migrants have little say in how these organisations are
funded and run. Read the rest of this entry »

Diversity and the turban, yet again

sikh-policeAn Garda Siochána have again made it absolutely clear that they do not want foreigners in the police force. In 2007, having appealed for recruits from what is euphemistically called Ireland’s ‘new communities’, it refused to allow a Sikh volunteer to the Garda reserve force to wear his turban on duty. The Garda explicitly denied that the turban ban was based on race or religion, but rather on the imperative to provide an ‘impartial police service’ requiring, among other things, ‘our standard uniform and dress’. According to Kevin O’Donoghue, Head of the Garda Press and Public Relations, ‘within the principles of an intercultural approach, An Garda Siochána is not advocating one religious belief over another, nor are we, in any way, being racist. We are attempting to… retain an image of impartiality while providing a State service to all citizens’. At the same time, An Garda declined to rule out the wearing of Catholic religious symbols such as crucifixes, Lenten ashes and pioneer pins. Read the rest of this entry »

03/19/2018 Migrant Activism and Integration from Below in Ireland

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