SICAP Programme - Integration and diversity: Winter Festival

The Carlow County Development Partnership SICAP Programme was delighted to support the 'Winter Festival', hosted by Carlow Integration Forum on December 2nd in An Gairdin Beo.


This event was a great success with wonderful food from around the world, music, and entertainment. More than 130 children visited Santa and had lots of time to chat with him and get a small gift. A grotto was created in the garden, marshmallows were toasted and Christmas wreaths were made. There were lots of activities for the little ones and indeed for everyone. All activities, Santa visits, and the food was free to all who attended. Santa arrived in a spectacular Pink Cadillac, The garden twinkled with fairy lights and it was a magical afternoon. Special thanks to Clonmore Meats for providing the wonderful car for Santa and letting the reindeer have a rest for the big night! Special tanks to Santa for his early arrival and continued updates on his progress to Carlow. Special thanks to Kevin Kelly for the festive refreshments. Thanks to everyone who worked so incredibly hard to make this event such a success

In current Irish policy, integration is defined as the ‘ability to participate to the extent that a person needs and wishes in all of the major components of society without having to relinquish his or her own cultural identity’, thus highlighting the needs for events that allows migrants express their identity through culture, food and music.

The 2017 Migrant Integration Strategy reminds us that "successful integration is the responsibility of Irish society as a whole and will require action by Government, public bodies, service providers,businesses,NGOs but also by local communities". This event showcased the collaboration that this possible between a Local Community group (An Gairdin Beo) and the Integration Forum which supports new communities, supported by the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme. The focus of the event was to allow recent migrants to the county interact with the host community and participate in a cultural event, highlighting in this case their their own traditions and food.
The success of the event built on the excellent work being done by the Failte Isteach Programme which creates the connections and energy between the individuals who then came forward to support the Integration Forum. The warm atmosphere in the Garden was built upon the friendly informal engagement which is the characteristic of the Failte Isteach Programme.



Community Development: Carlow Cricket Club

Established in 1834 one of the oldest cricket clubs outside of Dublin is opening its new home grounds today. This event is a clear demonstration of the changing face of communities in the county and the richness which this can contribute as the  arrival of refugees is being credited for the revival of Carlow Cricket Club. With a mix of Irish, Eastern Europeans, Australians, Asians and the Rohingya community Carlow have been able to have two adult and two children's teams.



Carlow County Development Partnership are delighted to see Carlow Cricket Club and the Rohingya community receive national attention for all their hard work on the revival of cricket in Carlow. It has been great to be apart of this community project. Well done to all concerned!


To see the RTE story


Community Development: The Integration Forum and St Patrick's Day

Ireland’s population has become increasingly diverse over the past two decades, and this is evident in all the towns and villages in County Carlow. Carlow County Development Partnership CLG is committed to the development of a county in which migrants and those of migrant origin play active roles in communities, workplaces and politics, underpinned by a respect for, and celebration of, diversity. Also we are working to mobilize local communities to promote integration.

One way in which this is support is through the assistance and mentoring given to the Carlow Integration Forum. Therefore It was great to see them  – and some of the individual communities which are part of it – so strongly represented at the St Patrick’s Day parade in Carlow Town. The diversity of different nations which have made Carlow their home is rightly now represented on this day which celebrates an increasing diverse understanding of national identity.

Carlow County Development Partnership SICAP Programme supports the  Lithuanian Community School and also runs the Failte Isteach Language and integration programme in Carlow town and in Tullow.


If you are from a new community and would like to receive support with language training, other forms of training or just advice, please contact Annette at 086 8545136


Carlow Integration Forum

A Changing Carlow: Richness in Diversity

Carlow Integration Forum

Here is a link to a moving Irish Times Article in the “New to the Parish” series about Mohammed Rafique, part of the Rohingya community that was resettled in Carlow in 2009. He is an active member of the Carlow Integration Forum which is supported by Carlow County Development Partnership.