English Classes in Shannon Academy

English classes begin in Shannon Academy on Wednesday February 14th.

A bus will collect participants in the centre at 9.30 a.m. Please be on time. The bus will return at 12.

There will be a meeting in the Education Room on Monday 12th at 12a.m. with Mary to discuss arrangements.

On completion of the classes a Certificate of Attendance will be provided by Shannon Academy.


Lip Service to Right to Work

Some information on the proposed right to work scheme:

If an asylum seeker wants to enter PAYE employment, for example, the job must not be one that an EU citizen or person with full migration permission could take up. It must also, in general, pay more than €30,000 a year, and cannot be in any of well over 70 sectors, including health, retail, hospitality and social care. Given the preponderance of women in these professions, these restrictions represent double discrimination against women who are seeking asylum.

As if all these restrictions were not mean enough, asylum seekers or their potential employers will have to pay between €500 and €1,000 for a six- to 12-month employment permit.

From the Irish Times

If an asylum seeker wants to enter PAYE employment, the job must, in general, pay more than €30,000 a year, and cannot be in health, retail, hospitality or social care


97 complaints to Ombudsman

Ombudsman dealt with 97 direct provision complaints

The Ombudsman Peter Tyndall has published a commentary on his office’s experience of dealing with complaints from refugees and asylum seekers living in direct provision centres.

The Ombudsman’s Office began accepting complaints from people in Direct Provision last April. Since then, it has received 97 formal complaints from residents.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Tyndall said direct provision accommodation is fine for those staying for a couple of weeks, as it was originally intended, but is not suitable for long-term stays.

More about the report  here.


A Big Day!

Thursday 25th January is a very big day.

New Horizon and Athlone Institute of Technology are launching the Refugee OnLine Education (ROLE) program.

This offers online courses in English, Mathematics and Information Technology. Further study opportunities are available in Humanities, Business, Science and Engineering.

For an introduction to online education for refugees see this video.

Any questions? Check out Online Education or send an email to info@newhorizonathlone.org.

Open Learning Programme

People have expressed an interest in an open learning programme run by Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT)  and New Horizon. We are now able to announce:


  • The programme will start on Thursday 25th January in AIT
  • It will run each Thursday from 11:00 to 16:30 for a period of thirteen (13) weeks
  • Twenty (20) places are available on the programme on a first come, first served basis
  • Online courses will be offered in English language, Mathematics and Information Technology
  • College lecturers will be available to help as necessary
  • Learners can make use of library and computer access facilities in AIT
  • People who satisfactorily complete the early learning courses can progress to online courses in Engineering, Science, Humanities or Business
  • Funding is available from New Horizon to enable people to do further, certified, courses in Engineering, Science, Humanities or Business
  • AIT will issue a certificate of completion for this programme. Course providers will issue a certificate for satisfactory completion of certified courses.
  • The closing date for applications is 17:00 on Wednesday 17th If you wish to attend please fill out the ‘Online Education’ form sent to you in a separate email
  • A planning meeting will be held in the Education room on site at 12:00 on Wednesday 17th Paper application forms can be submitted then too.

This is a very valuable opportunity and is the first time to be offered in Ireland. We would strongly encourage people to take part.


Online Learning Relaunch

We have now worked out a lot of the problems and are ready to start the online education programme

Meeting Wed 10th Jan. 12:00 in Education Room

Course start time and dates

English, Mathematics and Information Technology Courses

Courses structure and syllabus

Course certification

Course fees

This program is unique in Ireland and we would strongly encourage people to get involved in it.

Remembering Catherine

I’m very sad to report the death of Catherine Murphy.

Catherine was one of the first volunteers with New Horizon when the Direct Provision site opened in 2000. At that time conditions were very difficult and we were all attempting to understand what was happening and what we could and should do.

Officially Catherine taught English but her real contribution was to listen and help whenever she could.  Her  gentle and kind nature made her a good friend at a time when we badly needed friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam uasal

May her noble soul be at the right hand of God.

Home, by Warsan Shire

Warsan Shire is a Kenyan-born Somali poet, writer and educator based in London.

Full poem and visual presentation by the author here.

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied     … 


Gaisce awards Mosney DP Centre

President Michael D. Higgins presenting Bronze Gaisce awards to young people at the Mosney Direct Provision site.

Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme that encourages you to find your passion, get active and make a difference in your community! Gaisce is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland to young people aged 15-25 to dream big and realise their potential

There are challenges in four main areas, Community involvement, Developing a new skill, Physical recreation and an Adventure journey.

How about having an awards ceremony in Lissywollen next year?