4000 Promises-Operation Shamrock

Ireland is co-chairing the UN Summmit on Refugees and Migrants on the 19th of September and therefore should take a leading role in addressing the crisis. RAMSI, in collaboration with other organisations and individuals are planning a range of actions in the lead up to the summit. Central to these activities for us is a postcard campaign to refocus people's attention to the specific plight of separated children, and to call on the Irish Government to take immediate action and fulfill their promise to respond and ensure safe passage and protection for refugees.

The campaign: #youpromisedme

The campaign will include an online and printable postcard for people to sign and send to their local TDs. The urgent need for separated children to be given a home, and the open welcome of communities in Ireland, will be illustrated on the postcard through the drawings and words of children. The central message being sent to elected politicians will be:

“You promised me that you would give separated children who are fleeing war and persecution a safe home in Ireland. I want you to fulfill this promise now.”

 

The campaign will be circulated to schools, communities, and organisations in the lead up to the 19th of September in order to gain as much support as possible. People will also be invited to attend a direct action outside the Dáil on the 16th of September, and to bring signed postcards and join in a symbolic presentation to the Minister for Justice Francis Fitzgerald. We are asking her to fulfill her promise to give 4000 refugees a safe home in Ireland, particularly separated children, and to act on this promise now.

 

Why this campaign?

Historical campaigns using the medium of postcards have had significant impact in terms of awareness raising and communicating a collective clear message to elected politicians. The ‘Shut Sellafield’ campaign resulted in 1.3 million postcards being sent to Tony Blair in 2002 on the 16th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster demanding the closure of the nuclear plant.

 

Ireland has also lead the way as a land of refuge for children fleeing war in the past. In 1946 ‘Operation Shamrock’ saw Ireland give a home to over 1000 German, French and Austrian refugee children. The safe passage was organized by the Irish Red Cross and children were initially welcomed at the Glencree Peace and Reconciliation Centre before being taken in by foster families.

 

We hope that you will join with us to ask the Irish Government and Irish people to open their arms in welcome to separated children once again, during the largest movement of refugees since the second world war.

 

Take action with us

 

We welcome your support in working to deliver and promote this campaign with us. Please get in touch at dublinrefugeesolidarity@gmail.com to find out more information. We also very interested in hearing about any actions or awareness raising events you/your organisation are planning in the same period, it would be wonderful to collaborate.

Charlotte Bishop