The demographics of Ireland have changed considerably over the past decade. We are now a culturally diverse society with people from over 200 nations having set up homes in new and already established communities throughout the country. These social and cultural changes have brought many opportunities, yet also many challenges that need to be addressed, such as exclusion, a lack of awareness and understanding and, sometimes racism.
Integration begins at community level, through involvement in locally run activities. As a community focussed organisation, working at the grassroots of sport and culture, we are the perfect medium to aid the progress of integration throughout Ireland. We are in the unique position to create opportunities to all, irrespective of race (based on national origin, skin colour, ethnic background) marital status, family status, religious belief, membership of the Traveller community, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
In 2009, funding for the position of an Integration Development Officer (IDO) was sought through the Office of the Minister for Integration. This funding was granted, and in June 2010 Caitríona Reynolds was appointed as IDO.
Working alongside a number of sporting, intercultural and anti-racism organisations and individuals who share our view of inclusion, involvement and integration (see Integration Links), an Integration and Inclusion Policy and Programme is being developed.