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Immigration & asylum

Articles on immigration into Ireland, and into Europe

Short drama-documentary in the IFI

Sanctuary is a series of 26 ultra-short stories of asylum and refuge in Ireland, being shown in rotation before features in the IFI this month. The stories are all based on interviews I’ve done with people seeking asylum, and were performed by a collection of well known and emerging actors and writers.

Radio documentary on immigrant election candidates

Online now: my short radio documentary on this year’s local elections, for The Curious Ear on Radio One. The blurb: In May 2009, Colin Murphy hit the roads of Ireland on the campaign trail with some of the 40 immigrants who ran in the local elections. In Dublin, Limerick, Monaghan and Donegal, he talked to… read more +

New voices in Irish politics

In the run up to the local elections, I travelled around the country talking to immigrant candidates. This podcast, for FOMACS and Le Monde Diplomatique, is one of the results. New voices in Irish politics

New faces of Irish politics

“We were taught to be leaders,” says Anna Rooney. “You have Communion and Confirmation. We had the same – but with a political side to it.” Rooney, despite her Irish surname and touch of a Monaghan accent, grew up in the Soviet education system, in the province of Abkhazia in Georgia. Leadership wasn’t all that… read more +

Reporting on refugee issues

Speech given at the launch of a new guide for journalists on reporting on refugee issues. I came into journalism relatively late. In early 2000, I found myself in Angola in Southern Africa, as an aid worker with an Irish NGO, where the main focus of our work was the people displaced by the Angolan… read more +

World Report: tragedy off the Libyan coast

Listen to a World Report on the phenomenon of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean, broadcast on April 4, 2009. Below is the original text of the report. — Smile flashed me this week. Let me clarify that. ‘Flash’ is African mobile phone slang for giving someone a missed call – letting them know you want… read more +

From Angola to Athlone: a royal tale

The official in Westmeath County Council was bemused by the name on the voter registration application. Something had to be wrong. She picked up the phone. In Athlone, Beetriz Bailundo answered. “You’ve ticked the box that says you’re Irish,” said the official. “I am Irish,” said Beetriz. The official paused. “I’m an Irish citizen,” said… read more +

What is the What

Originally published in the Irish Times. Posted here again now due to Valentino Achak’s Deng’s visit to Dublin. One night in the summer of 2001, I stood in a field, in thick mud, holding a clipboard and a torch. The torch showed up a row of primitive huts, and I moved from hut to hut,… read more +

From Morocco: Thanks to Smile

A shorter version of this was broadcast on RTE Radio One’s World Report on July 26 The charity’s office was clean and bare, with two pcs humming on office desks, and some generic charts on the wall. The administrator was apologetic. The director had had to leave for an urgent meeting in the capital, and… read more +

RTE Radio One World Report: From Morocco

Hear a three-minute radio essay on drownings of migrants in the Mediterranean, as broadcast on RTE Radio One’s World Report on Saturday July 26. This report was made possible by a grant from the Simon Cumbers Media Challenge Fund.