CORK'S Deputy Lord Mayor has spoken about the importance of community intgeration in the city.
Cllr Fergal Dennehy joined as many as 70 members of the Muslim community in Cork during a community interfaith ceremony as part of the holy month of Ramadan.
The event, held at Nicolas Well off Blarney St, came just before the end of the holy month, which involves fasting during daylight hours, as well as prayer and reflection.
Mr Dennehy said that he was glad to learn more about Ramadan as the Muslim community in Ireland continues to grow.
Last year's census showed that the number of Muslims in Ireland has increased by almost 30% since 2011.
The Togher councilor said, "It was really great to learn what Ramadan is about as a time for reflection and soul-searching. It is not just about fasting."
Mr Dennehy, who regularly works with the Helping Cork's Homeless group, said he was interested to learn about the process of gift giving that also takes place during Ramadan.
"One of the younger members of the group told me that they had given their gifts to homeless people, which I was very impressed with," he said.
Community integration was among the most prominent topics discussed on the night.
Mr Dennehy said, "In my life, Cork has completely changed. It is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural city that is integrating with new communities all the time.
"Cork is building; but it is not just new buildings, it is new communities too."
The group also spoke about the recent coverage of terrorist attacks in the UK and Europe.
Mr Dennehy said, "People talked about the depiction of Muslims in the media. That depiction does not reflect on the people who I met, the people who want to integrate and work with the community in Cork, with community and religious groups of all backgrounds."