Integration Through Collaboration

On July 22, The Judges Visited The Balbriggan Integration Forum

When the judges arrived, they were given a presentation detailing the background of the Balbriggan Integration Forum  in Co. Dublin. Betsy Abu, Chairperson of the Group said:

“The Town Of The Hills” is one of the largest and ethnically diverse towns in Ireland with over 100 nationalities. Balbriggan Integration Forum as an organisation has set out a platform to celebrate this diversity. The Forum cuts across cultures, race and ethnicity in gathering our community, local representatives, statutory and non-statutory bodies to discuss and act on issues affecting our communities.

PoP presentation in cairde

When the Judges had been briefed on the background, achievements and plans of the Forum, they met with representatives of the key agencies involved in the project. Emilia Marchelewska, Cairde/BIF said:

We had a meaningful conversation about the challenges faced by people and agencies operating locally in due course of demographic and cultural shifts, sustainability of BIF and strategic plans. Through its members BIF has huge expertise of local issues and working collectively we are tackling them.


PoP_In front of Cairde

Back row: Shay Barker – FCC, Emmanuel Njume Sone – Cairde, Pat Queenan – FCC, Dave Keogh – Dept of Social Protection, Terry O’Niadh – Pride of Place Judge, Rafe Costigan – FCC, Eoin O’Connor – Pride of Place Judge, Margaret Campbell – HSE, Eugene Moore – FCC Front row: Domhnall Johnston, Sarah Duku – Cairde, Marianna Prontera – Cairde, Paul Reid – Fingal CEO, Emilia Marchelewska – Cairde, Mick Dunne – Fingal County Council.


A Tour Highlighted By Furry Friends

The Judges explored the Cairde Balbriggan building which houses the BIF and talked with representatives of Cairde, Sonas, the Parent & Toddler Group Balbriggan, and Radio Balbriggan. They were shown the allotment areas at the back of the compound and were treated to a dog obedience show by Balbriggan Dogs Club who all performed extremely well!


Sampling Food & Cultural Music

The judges travelled through the town to the Martello tower to observe the historical and natural beauty that was explained by the Balbriggan Historical Society. From there to one of the town’s newest buildings, The Flemington Centre, where the judges were greeted by Roma musicians and sampled foods from all around the world.

Groups and agencies who met the Judges on the day included:

  • Health & Wellbeing Sub Group
  • Social Integration Sub Group
  • Training & Education Sub Group
  • Communication Sub Group
  • Radio Balbriggan
  • Balbriggan Community Council
  • Balbriggan Dogs Club
  • Balbriggan Historical Society
  • Balbriggan Women Development Group
  • Cairde Balbriggan
  • Department of Social Protection
  • Family Mirror
  • Foroige
  • Failte Isteach
  • Fingal Leader Partnership
  • Fipika
  • Fingal Ethnic Network
  • Fingal Travellers Organisation
  • Grow
  • HSE
  • Jigsaw
  • Musicantia
  • Sonas

More information on Balbriggan Information Forum.  Or join the Balbriggan community on Facebook.