The Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality, David Stanton TD, today participated in “Promoting Political Engagement: Cork” at Millennium Hall, City Hall, Cork. The event brings together members of the migrant community with a panel of representatives from Irish political parties and groupings and seeks to inspire and equip participants to spread some key message among their communities:

• Everyone has the right to vote in local elections and it is important to use this vote;
• Everyone has the right to run in local elections and migrants are encouraged to either take this step themselves or to support community members to do so.

The event is being held in partnership with a number of migrant organisations: Cork Migrant Centre, Love and Care for People, ThinkSpeakDo, Nasc, Cork City Partnership, Together Razem, New Communities, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, University College Cork, IOM, AkiDwa, Cork City Council Social Inclusion Unit and Cork City of Sanctuary.

The event is being supported through funding from the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration at the Department of Justice and Equality.

Opening the event Minister Stanton stated “This event represents our commitment to the goals of the Migrant Integration Strategy – “A Blueprint for the Future”, which was published by Government in February last year with broad support from all Parties. The strategy specifically challenges us, as public representatives with encouraging migrants to register to vote and exercise their franchise, and encouraging migrants to participate in local and national politics.

“The overall vision of the strategy is that migrants are facilitated to play a full role in Irish society, that integration is a core principle of Irish life and that Irish society and institutions work together to promote integration, a crucial step towards this goal, is political participation.”