Call for parties to be more proactive in encouraging migrants into politics

Call for parties to be more proactive in encouraging migrants into politics

There is a call on political parties to do more to encourage migrants into politics.

A new scheme has led to an increased number of migrants putting themselves forward for election.

The Councillor-Migrant Internship Scheme saw migrants pair up with councillors for four months to learn about politics.

Three out of five interns have now decided to run in the upcoming local elections.

Just 31 people from a migrant background stood for election in 2014 among more than 2,000 candidates.

Only three out of 949 sitting councillors across the country are from this background.

Immigrant Council of Ireland spokesperson Joe O'Brien outlined how the scheme works:

"We matched up migrants who have been living in Ireland for some time now with local county councillors in five different local authorities around the country," he said.

"Thye worked with them over the course of the councillor's duties over a four-month period all with a view to learning what it's like to be a local representative."

Mr O'Brien says political parties need to create more opportunities for people who have come to Ireland as migrants.

"There's a bit of work to be done and I think, in particular, the big political parties need to open their eyes to the diversity of the communities they represent [and] open their eyes to the talent that is there among migrant communities," he said.

"[They need to] make an effort, go outside their comfort zones in terms of who they're looking for as local candidates and pick diversity."

More on this topic

Varadkar ‘cosying up’ with potential coalition partnersVaradkar ‘cosying up’ with potential coalition partners

Coveney: Ask new PM about no-dealCoveney: Ask new PM about no-deal

Martin criticises Trump’s ‘outrageous’ race remarksMartin criticises Trump’s ‘outrageous’ race remarks

Fresh fears for backstop as Varadkar hints at ‘flexibility’Fresh fears for backstop as Varadkar hints at ‘flexibility’

More in this Section

Richard Bruton, ESB and Bord na Mona accused of 'fiddling while Rome burns'Richard Bruton, ESB and Bord na Mona accused of 'fiddling while Rome burns'

Garda Commissioner calls gardaí after suspecting woman of drink drivingGarda Commissioner calls gardaí after suspecting woman of drink driving

Parts of Dublin's Grand Canal drained dryParts of Dublin's Grand Canal drained dry

Thousands of mental health nurses to begin industrial action todayThousands of mental health nurses to begin industrial action today


Lifestyle

Homemade ice pops are handy for many reasons, they refresh on a warm day, but also you know exactly what is in them; no strange colourings or preservatives.Michelle Darmody's home made ice pops

Sometimes travel can be more about the journey than the destination, as Caroline Hennessy and her family discovered when they took a 13-hour overnight journey from San Sebastián to Lisbon to check out the Trenhotel experienceTravelling by train in Europe - with kids

The Great Hack looks at the implications of the scandal involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook, writes Laura Harding.When tech firms go bad: Netflix's new documentary on Cambridge Analytica / Facebook scandal

Often hailed as one of the greatest animated films ever made, The Lion King has a special place in the hearts of generations of children.New King of the jungle: The director behind The Lion King remake

More From The Irish Examiner