Launch: Multicultural Portlaoise to receive Library of Sanctuary award

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Launch: Multicultural Portlaoise to receive Library of Sanctuary award

Today Tuesday March 10 the first Irish Library of Sanctuary title will be awarded to Portlaoise library.

The award recognises the staff's work to make it a welcoming place for new cultures to the town.

A big launch event will kick off at 12 noon.

Bernie Foran is the county librarian.

“Places of Sanctuary is a movement that seeks to promote a culture of welcome in every sphere of society, a network of places of sanctuary where refugees and migrants are welcomed and included. We know that newcomers have a lot to offer, and we believe that as barriers come down and connections are made, the whole of society benefits,” she said.

Karen McHugh is joint chair of volunteer group Laois Integration Network.

“It's great, very positive. Portlaoise library has a welcome for everybody, with a particular interest in ensuring that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are welcome to use it. Portlaoise is so diverse and so inclusive, it is a really positive place,” she said.

“Laois in general has been very welcoming. Events were held to welcome people to direct provision instead of holding protests like other places,” Ms McHugh said.

Laois County Council Cathaoirleach Willie Aird invites all to the launch on March 10 at 12 noon in the library. Email laoislibrary@ laoiscoco to attend.

Last year Portlaoise Parish Centre officially became a Place of Sanctuary, with a plaque erected in a welcome to all, presented by Place of Sanctuary Ireland network.