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Wednesday 12 December 2018

Multicultural Christmas party in town where 30pc born outside of country

Cahir Castle and the River Suir in Cahir, Co Tipperary, where 30pc of the town’s population is non-Irish born
Cahir Castle and the River Suir in Cahir, Co Tipperary, where 30pc of the town’s population is non-Irish born

Ralph Riegel

A town where one-in-three local residents is non-Irish born is to use the festival of Christmas as a way of celebrating multiculturalism.

Thirty per cent of the population of Cahir in Co Tipperary is non-Irish born and drawn from more than 40 countries, ranging from Zimbabwe in Africa to Brazil in South America and Lithuania in the Baltic states.

Now, supported by the charity Together Ireland, Cahir will host a special event on December 8 to "reach out" to its new residents to make them feel welcome.

According to the 2016 Census, Cahir has Ireland's eighth highest percentage of non-Irish born residents.

Just over 1,000 people living in the River Suir town were born outside Ireland.

The 'Cahir Reaches Out' concept is aimed at making non-Irish born residents feel welcome - and to celebrate their cultural contribution to modern Ireland.

The event will include a world bake off, celebrating culinary arts from all different countries, carol singing in different languages and a special parade of flags through Cahir's Main Street to underline just how cosmopolitan the Tipperary town has become.

"When Tipperary Co Council and the Tipperary Volunteer Centre contacted us about this initiative, we were absolutely delighted to get involved and co-ordinate it on the ground," Together Ireland's Graham Clifford said.

"We're piloting our initiative here in Cahir and this is a perfect opportunity to bring the community together.

"We held meetings with people in the town who were eager that this event reflect the welcome that exists for all in Cahir and locals have really rolled up those sleeves to make this happen.

"Our aim is to help Cahir harness that wonderful diversity which exists in the town to the benefit of all who live here. And to reach out that hand of welcome and friendship at this time of the year to people who may be very far from home."

Other events organised for the day include an international 5km Santa Run and street music performances supported by Cahir Junior Choir and the Cahir Comhaltas Group.

The day will feature a special carols event with offerings in English, Irish, Spanish, Polish and Lithuanian before the formal switching on of the Cahir Christmas lights.

Together Ireland is a not-for-profit community initiative that is being piloted in the towns of Cahir, Co Tipperary, Fermoy, Co Cork, and Mitchelstown, Co Cork.

Irish Independent

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