By Joe Barrett
RESIDENTS of the Hibernian direct provision centre in Abbeyleix will be received by members of the local community at a welcoming party on Sunday 13 October.
The event, which takes place in the parish hall, will be held from 2.30pm to 5pm.
It’s an opportunity for the people of Abbeyleix and surrounding area to welcome residents living in the direct provision centre into the town, to nurture inclusivity and to promote cultural sharing and understanding.
Along with members of the wider community, the town’s newest residents will come together to share food, music, song and stories.
Welcoming projects from local schools will also be on display, while parish priest Fr Paddy Byrne will officiate at a symbolic candle-lighting ceremony. Speakers will include former residents of direct provision centres who now live fully-integrated lives within the community.
Local sports, social, heritage and charitable organisations will also be present to further cement the Abbeyleix welcome. Musicians from the area will perform alongside talented residents from the centre. Entertainment will also be provided by the Spink branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the parish choir and other invited guests.