Words of Motion written by Cllr. Francis Timmons and passed unanimously by Clondalkin Area Committee on Wednesday 21 March, 2018:

‘That this committee calls on the Dept. of Justice to fund the Inter-Cultural Centre in Clondalkin in order for it to continue its valuable and vital work of promoting inclusion for all cultures. In Clondalkin we are a very mixed and diverse community that has a Direct Provision Centre located beside the Inter-Cultural Centre. We appeal to the Minister to allocate the vital funds needed to run and keep this Centre open’.

Along with other Clondalkin councillors, Cllr. Breeda Bonner (Lab.) has called on the Dept. of Justice to restore funding to the Inter-Cultural Centres in both Clondalkin and Tallaght with immediate effect. Without this money, a measly €80,000 in total, both these centres are going to have to close within a couple of months.

These centres provide vital services for members of the immigrant communities most especially the provision of English classes. They provide classes in other areas too such as art and craft and gardening. Of great importance, these centres provide strangers to our shores the opportunity to socialise with each other and to meet Irish people. They are vital to make these immigrants and their children good citizens of the future. Because these people are struggling to find their feet, it is vital that we battle on their behalf.

Most of the classes and individual tutoring in these centres are provided by volunteers. In other words, as things stand, they are run on a shoe string. If the funding was being withdrawn in order to provide a more professional service such as many European countries provide it would be understandable. However, given that the government is providing so little financial support, the withdrawal of funding is outrageous. Funding must be restored without delay.