Press Release

Minister Brady launches the Clane Fáilte Isteach Group, Parish Centre, Clane

Áine Brady, T.D., Minister for Older People and Health Promotion, today (Thursday, 28th May, 2009) officially launched the Clane Fáilte Isteach Group.

The Fáilte Isteach project involves older people volunteering their time to teach conversational English classes to new migrants who have come to Ireland from all over the world. The student-centred approach adopted by the programme provides basic language support in a practical, welcoming and inclusive manner. The idea for the Fáilte Isteach project originated with Mary Nally and the Third Age Foundation. It was this organisation which identified a need within their own community in Summerhill, Co. Meath, to extend the hand of friendship and support to their new neighbours who were experiencing difficulties as they struggled, not only with a new culture but also with a new language.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Brady said “The volunteers who teach English to our new neighbours are people who have a wide range of talents, skills and experience to offer their students and indeed the wider community. This project has encouraged greater understanding and integration between cultures and generations. It is obvious that the Fáilte Isteach project has made a significant and positive difference to the lives of everyone involved. It has also highlighted the important contribution which older people can and do make to their community and society in general”.