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Tag Archives: Syria

Ace efforts from Wesley in Greece

A KILLALOE based tennis coach, who has introduced the sport of tennis to residents of a Greek refugee camp, is urging the public to support charities like Lighthouse Relief who are helping those fleeing war torn countries. Wesley O’Brien, a coach at the Killaloe Tennis Club said while the issue may have gone off the news cycle, it is still a major international crisis that needs continued support. He said rather than sitting on a beach in Lanzarote he wanted to do more with his skills and wanted share the joy of tennis with those less fortunate. In 2018 he got in touch with a number NGOs and was directed to Lighthouse Relief, who work with refugees from Syria, Iraq and Turkey. The charity has a base on the island of Lesvos where they have a first responder team who help migrants fleeing by boat. Their second base is at the Ritsona refugee camp where they cater for more than …

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Large anti-Trump protest at Shannon

APPROXIMATELY 150-200 people attended a protest outside Shannon Airport last night, against the implementation of a ban on immigration to the US from seven Muslim majority countries and the use of Shannon by the US military. While the protest was peaceful, a minority of protestors did engage in verbal abuse of Gardai particularly after the demonstrators were prevented from entering the airport. This was by far the largest demonstration at the airport in recent years, the turnout more striking when one takes into account the wintry conditions. A small number of Syrians were among the protestors, refugees who have been resettled in Newcastle West, Co Limerick. The demonstrators began assembling beside the roundabout closest to the airport before 6pm, with a noticeable police presence there also. The crowds were then addressed by a number of speakers, all of whom were critical of Trump and the restriction on US immigration. Some also hit out at the continued use of the airport …

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Syrian refugees to be setteld in Clare

BEFORE the summer, Clare will see the arrival of Syrian refugees who will be housed in Sixmilebridge, Shannon and Newmarket-on-Fergus. At a meeting of Shannon Municipal District on Tuesday, director of services Ger Dollard told the local representatives that 15 to 20 families are to be settled in Clare, with nine of them set to arrive in April or May. These first nine are to be settled in Sixmilebridge, Newmarket-on-Fergus and Shannon. He also said an inter-agency group has been established to facilitate their settlement in the county. Mr Dollard told the members that accommodation costs would be borne by the council’s normal funding. However, he said he had no doubt that the allocation received by the council would reflect the extra demands being made. Speaking afterwards, he said the family sizes would range from three to seven. “We have set up the inter-agency group and it will require all of their involvement. We have been asked, and I can …

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Christmas at the coalface of Syrian crisis

BACK in 1995, Mountshannon woman Ann McNamara decided to leave her job with an insurance company and work with Concern in Bangladesh for a two-year period. More than 20 years later, she is still working with an organisation responding to crisis situations. An assistant country director with GOAL, based in Antakya on the Turkey/Syria border for six months, Ann says spending Christmas away from home and family has become the norm. “Over the 22 years I have been overseas, I have probably spent two or three Christmases back in Ireland,” she says. “This is normal for me. It’s so crazy here you don’t even realise it’s Christmas.” Ann initially worked with Concern for 11 years as a regional HR advisor, before working with Oxfam and then Save the Children UK in South Sudan. She returned to Concern in 2011 to work as an assistant country director in Liberia for two years and then spent one year in Lebanon. “I finished my …

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Clare to Calais appeal goes nationwide

A logistics expert from an international development agency has joined the Clare to Calais campaign, after it grew from a single van to a nationwide humanitarian aid convoy. The group will bring supplies from Ireland to the French port on September 30, in response to the international refugee crisis. Róisín Ní Gháirbhíth from Inagh and her friend Tracey Ryan, from Cork, began the movement less than two weeks ago. Now they have raised nearly €60,000 and are bringing two trucks, 20 vans, three campers and several cars of goods to the migrant camps in Calais and are considering adding a 56-seat bus of volunteers to distribute the donations. “It is so big now we are meeting with a logistics manager later this week and we are very lucky in that a man who had been travelling has just come back and has volunteered to be a full-time administrator until we go on September 30,” Ms Ní Gháirbhíth told The Clare …

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Clare man’s appeal to take in Syrian children

A “watershed moment” is how Ennis man, Aiden O’Neill has described seeing Syrian toddler, Aylan Kurdi being carried out of the water. Aiden has come to national prominence during the past 24 hours since he started a campaign to find 600 families to foster or adopt 600 Syrian refugees until their own families “can get back on their feet”. Speaking to The Clare Champion he said the response has “overwhelmed” him and exceeded all of his expectations. “I’m a sales rep. I’m just an ordinary Joe Soap. I’d seen all the images on Facebook and that image of Aylan was just a watershed moment for me and I just had to do something. It was just a harrowing image. “I have a two-year-old and a six-year-old. People might give up the cigarettes or drink or find God. I didn’t find God but I couldn’t wash my hands of this.” Aiden says he is looking to find 600 families to adopt …

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Aer Lingus backs UNICEF’s Syrian Appeal

As part of the Change for Good campaign, Aer Lingus has this week launched a special collection on all flights to raise funds for UNICEF’s Syrian appeal. Change for Good is the UNICEF in-flight collection of unused foreign notes and coins to raise funds for vulnerable children around the world. As the conflict in Syria enters its fifth year, 14 million children are in need of humanitarian support, making this the single biggest humanitarian crisis since World War Two. The situation of more than 5.6 million children inside Syria remains the most desperate. Almost two million Syrian children have fled and are living as refugees most of them in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. The scale of this crisis is unprecedented; the total number of Syrian children in need of assistance is 15 times what it was in 2012. UNICEF Ireland Executive Director, Peter Power said, “While visiting the Syrian-Lebanese border, I witnessed first hand the appalling and inhumane conditions in …

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Breen to chair Oireachtas meeting on Islamic State

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, chaired by Deputy Pat Breen, will meet Dr Nader Hashemi on this Wednesday to discuss the on-going civil war in Syria and the rise of Islamic State there and in the remainder of the Middle East. Dr Nader Hashemi is Associate Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. Chairman of the committee, Pat Breen said, “The Committee has been gravely concerned at the continued actions of Al-Assad’s regime and of other extremist militias, as well as the rise of the radical Jihadist force ISIS, which has resulted in a further deterioration in an already precarious human rights situation in Syria. Tomorrow, we will have an opportunity to hear from Dr Nader Hashemi, who will outline the roots of ISIS and the threat that their rise is posing a global security challenge. We will also have an opportunity to consider with him at tomorrow’s meeting the most …

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