Michael Harding“What we’re celebrating, to be clear, at Christmas, is the story of a young refugee who is pregnant…”

As heard on Today with Sean O'Rourke

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Michael Harding says he doesn’t believe in God but he does have his own take on what Christmas is actually about. In a conversation full of literary quotes and poetic anecdotes, the columnist and author told Seán O’Rourke how he thinks the Bethlehem story resonates today: “What we’re celebrating, to be clear, at Christmas, is the story of a young refugee …

Taking a Refugee into your Home‘This is no big deal. It’s the right thing to do in the situation. If we were in their shoes what would we want?’

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Martin is from Dublin and Ahmed is a refugee from Syria. They live together in Ranelagh as part of an Irish Red Cross initiative. They joined Ray D’Arcy in studio to talk about how life has changed for them both. Martin and his wife applied to be considered as hosts when the Irish Red Cross put out an appeal. “The call went out and then we …

Ballaghaderreen Refugees‘As I got to know them, my confidence rose’

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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The Abbeyfield Hotel in Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon, has played host to nearly 200 Syrian refugees for almost a year. Jacqueline Mullen, Manager of the Emergency Reception & Orientation Centre (EROC) in Ballaghaderreen, joined guest-host Baz Ashmawy on The Ray D’Arcy Show to talk about the centre’s progression, along with one of the Syrian refugees in question, Ghassan. Baz was curious to know how Jacqueline had gotten involved with the centre and what its aim is. She explained that the centre is a way of “putting structure …

Syrian Refugees in Ballaghaderreen‘The people I meet there are still very appreciative of the hospitality they’ve received, but they’re bored and they’re anxious to get working’

As heard on Drivetime

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War-torn Syria is very far away from small-town Ireland, but in a County Roscommon town, some Syrians – fleeing the civil war in their country – have been housed in a former hotel for almost six months. Under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme, Ballaghaderreen in County Roscommon welcomed the refugees earlier this year. The former hotel is now an Emergency Reception …