Multicultural awards take place in Dublin following three-year break


ABOUT 200 people battled monsoon conditions and local flooding to attend the 2011 Metro ÉireannMedia and Multicultural Awards in the Liberty Hall Theatre in Dublin last night.

The deputy mayor of Dublin, Maria Parodi, said the awards “showcase the positive effects that multiculturalism has had on Irish society”. She added: “I am proud to stand here tonight as the deputy lord mayor of a city that welcomed and acknowledges its diversity of population as an asset to this city.”

Established in 2002, the awards – known as the Mamas – took place again after a three-year break, making it the eighth such ceremony. It was organised as part of Dublin City Council’s One City One People campaign.

The award winners included Fidéle Mutwarasibo and the Lantern Centre who jointly received the Special Judges Award.

Fidéle Mutwarasibo, the integration manager of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, was honoured for his outstanding contribution to diversity over the last decade.

The Lantern Centre received its award in recognition of its commitment to interfaith dialogue.

Michael Murray of the centre, which offers a hospitality service to immigrants, said the project’s only agenda is that “people embrace diversity”.

The Dublin-based Irish Writers Exchange – which recently published a book, Dublin: Ten Journeys, One Destination– was awarded a one-year online product and services package worth €5,000 in recognition of its efforts in promoting and celebrating multiculturalism through writing.

Roslyn Fuller, a Canadian who is a member of the exchange, said that the diverse ethnic background of the writers “obviously influences what they notice about Ireland and their perspective on Dublin”. Ms Fuller added: “We really have gotten a lot of support from Unesco and from awards like Mama. It does mean a lot to us to get that support and the endorsement.”

Louth County Enterprise Board won the multicultural award for an institution in the public sector.

Orla Ní Haonigh, a volunteer writing teacher who won the individual multicultural award and whose Dublin-based writing groups are funded by Dublin City Council, encouraged writing skills among students. “I must say when people are interested in the story or just talking about their own lives, their literacy problems disappear,” she said last night.

Others award winners in the multicultural category included Clare Intercultural Futsal League and Emerald Futsal League; Tutti Frutti Juice Bar and the Centre for Creative Practices.

The media category winners included Catherine Reilly for her articles published in The Irish Times,including two articles in particular, entitled Bearing culture in mindand We got married and fell in love.

Other winners in the category were Newstalk’s Global Village presenter Dil Wickremasing, he and producer John Donovan for the New Irish programme; Richard Lynch of; DCTV’s John Breslin for The Story Tellerseries and Pádraig Coyles Sunday Sequenceon BBC Radio Ulster.

The awards were presented by Shalini Sinha, a commentator on cultural diversity and life issues, and were sponsored by Metro Éireann, The Irish Times,An Post, Dublin City Council, Foras na Gaeilge and MK Design Studio.