Ways for migrants in Tipperary to overcome barriers into politics to be discussed at webinar series

The Immigrant Council, in partnership with Dublin City University, is running the series throughout March and April. The series will feature contributions from former election candidates and currently sitting councillors of migrant backgrounds, as well as experts in the political system and campaigning.

The webinar series – entitled ‘Promoting Democratic Participation: An Active Citizenship for Migrants’ – aims to introduce potential candidates to the Irish political system, covering topics such as: party systems in Ireland, mobilisation of migrant voters, migrant women in politics, party affiliation, electoral campaign organisation, outreach strategies, and social media campaigning. The first session in the series will take place on Wednesday, 9th March at 6pm.

According to research carried out by the Immigrant Council on the experiences of migrant election candidates in 2019, migrants experience additional campaigning barriers that other candidates do not have to face. In order to combat these barriers, the Immigrant Council has delivered a number of projects including voters’ education workshops and internship schemes for migrants.

The webinars will be jointly coordinated by Teresa Buczkowska, Immigrant Council of Ireland and Dr Valesca Lima, Dublin City University. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Yara Alagha, board member of Women for Election, named one of 22 activists to watch in 2022 by the Irish Independent.
  • Councillor Abul Kalam Azad Telekdar (FF), Former Deputy Mayor of Limerick.
  • Councillor Uruemu Adejinmi (FF), Lord Mayor of Longford.
  • Sandra Ruiz, expert on migrant integration and 2019 local election candidate.

Commenting on the upcoming webinar series, Teresa Buczkowska, Integration Manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, said: “Migrant political participation significantly increased in recent years. Currently we have 12 local councillors from a migrant background, and we are working with a number of potential election candidates. The local councillors are the best trainers and role models that can provide knowledge and encouragement to migrants who are considering running for local elections in Tipperary in 2024. There are many capable migrant community leaders in Tipperary and across Ireland who would make excellent local councillors and we hope we can reach them with our webinars.”

Also commenting on the upcoming series, Dr Valesca Lima, Assistant Professor in Politics at Dublin City University, said: “Active citizenship is an important part of migrant integration and a healthy democracy. Having diverse voices at the decision-making table supports equality and ensures the success of all of our communities and a cohesive society. We are hoping that the webinar series will help migrant candidates to run successful election campaigns in 2024 and beyond.”

The webinars are part of the New Foundations project funded by the Irish Research Council. The online webinar series begins on Wednesday, 9th March at 6pm.  All webinars are free to attend and people interested in attending can registe