Fresh off the Sanctuary in Politics course, on March 15th a group of seasoned and budding advocates paid a visit to the Oireachtas building in Dublin – which houses Ireland’s legislature. The trip took place in the aftermath of Ireland’s recent elections, and for many it was the first time inside this important venue for national decision-making.
It was an eye-opening experience, beginning with a tour of the beautiful buildings described by participant Azad:
An officer showed us where the parliament meets. The thing that I liked is that there is a seat for honoured guests as well. An honoured guest can be a very high profile political character from another country. We also saw the paintings of all the Irish prime ministers. Then we moved to see the old part of the building which was built in the 1970s.
After the tour the group met Eamon Ryan, head of the Green Party, and a great supporter of sanctuary principles. Eamon, who has just been re-elected to the Dail, explained that the recent elections left no party with a majority, and that negotiations are still going on to form a government.
Tian Yu was one of those who engaged with Eamon and reported that he was very supportive of all their suggestions. He listened carefully to various issues raised by the students and we hope this will be the beginning of an ongoing relationship where the concerns of refugees and immigrants can be brought to the seat of power.