Laois town to welcome people in direct provision at a community event

Leinster Express Reporter

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Leinster Express Reporter

Abbeyleix direct provision

Abbeyleix community to put on a big welcome

The community of Abbeyleix is set to extend a warm welcome to the residents of the town's Direct Provision Centre.

Taking place in the Parish Hall, the organisers say this community welcoming event is a unique opportunity for the people of Abbeyleix to embrace the residents of the former Hibernian Hotel into the town.

Fresh from Abbeyleix winning the inaugural National Tidy Towns Inclusivity Award, the aim of the upcoming event also seeks  to nurture inclusivity and promote cultural sharing and understanding.

The event will see Abbeyleix’s newest residents will gather together with members of the wider community to share food, music, song and stories. Welcoming projects from the local schools will be on display.

Fr Paddy Byrne, PP, will officiate over a symbolic candle ceremony.

Speakers on the day will include former residents of Direct Provision who now live fully integrated lives within the community.  

Sports, social, heritage and charitable organisations will all be present to further cement the Abbeyleix welcome.

Local musicians will perform alongside talented Hibernian residents in the true sense of collaboration and sharing.

Entertainment will also be provided by Spink Comhaltas, the Parish Choir and other invited guests ensuring a truly memorable and celebratory afternoon. 

"We look forward to seeing you all as we gather on Sunday, October 13 to mark the beginning of our Abbeyleix welcome to our town’s Newcomers," conclude the organisers. The event runs from 2.30 pm to 5pm.

Between 55 and 60 asylum seekers, mostly made up of families, moved into the former Hibernian Hotel at Pembroke Terrace in September 2018.

A similar event is planned for Portarlington later in October. Read more about that here. 

Laois has three direct provision centres.