History of Community Sponsorship in Ireland
Community Sponsorship is a model for refugee resettlement which was developed in Canada in the late 1970’s, which invites local communities to come together to support the effective resettlement of refugees. It has been enormously successful in Canada and in 2017, Ireland announced it would be developing its own programme.
Nasc has long called for the introduction of community sponsorship in Ireland (see our Safe Passage Campaign). Since 2017, Nasc has worked closely with the Department of Justice and other civil society organisations to develop the Irish Community Sponsorship Programme. See our statement here on the official launch of the programme on 6th March 2019.
Nasc has considerable experience in supporting communities to welcome refugee families. Between 2015-2018, Nasc worked closely with a community group in Wicklow to develop a pilot community sponsorship project, which welcomed the Al Sulaiman family to Wicklow in June 2018 (you can read more about that pilot project here). More recently, Nasc supported the first official Community Sponsor Group in Dunshaughlin, Co. Meath to welcome the first refugee family to Ireland under the Irish Community Sponsorship Programme in December 2018.
In 2019, the national Community Sponsorship programme was officially launched by Minister of State, David Stanton TD in Cork City. You can read more about the launch here.