NASC, the Migrant and Refugee Rights Centre, has opened a new centre in the heart of Cork city.
Lord Mayor of Cork City Mick Finn (Ind) and Head of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ireland Enda O’Neill cut the ribbon to formally open the new Paul Street premises for Nasc on Friday.
To celebrate, Nasc held an open day between 11am and 3pm to welcome visitors to the new premises which featured music from Citadel, a group of musicians based in Kinsale Road Direct Provision Centre.
The new premises was provided by the Bishop of Cork and Ross John Buckley.
“We are very grateful to Bishop of Cork and Ross John Buckley for giving us this space last Autumn,” said Fiona Finn, CEO of Nasc.
“We are delighted to be so centrally located, it makes it much more convenient for people who are coming into us,” she added.
Bishop Buckley said the diocese was happy to help.
“I often visit people in Direct Provision, in the various centres around Cork, and am delighted we are able to help NASC, who do such good work to support them.
“We are delighted to give them the space and we hope the city centre locations will be of benefit to them in their work,” he added.
“They do great work, with language classes and so much more.
“It is very important for our local parishes and communities to also welcome migrants, we Irish have often been strangers in foreign lands too.
“Integration is important too and I encourage migrants to get involved in the local community, be it through the church or sport.
I always say we will know integration is a full success when we have a migrant lining out for Cork on the GAA field,” he smiled.
To coincide with the formal opening of new premises, Nasc also launched a new website, logo and a new three-year strategic plan.
Nasc received funding through the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Funds and from Ireland Funds to develop a more accessible and mobile friendly website.
“We are very excited to be launching a new website,” said Ms Finn.
“It has been several years in the development at this stage and is long overdue.
“It was important to us that we make the site more accessible and user friendly,” she added.
“We are also launching a new logo, which we think is more reflective of our name – Nasc, the Irish word for ‘link’ – and our ethos, that we link migrants and refugees with their rights.”