November 27, 2006

Mercy Justice Network Ireland visits Brussels

“This is where evangelisation should be now.”

Nov 6th 2006 saw an intrepid group of 15 members of Mercy Refugee Network (Ireland) arrive in Brussels. These were women on a mission! Their mission? - to present a report on their firsthand experience in working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees to the Irish MEPs (Members of the European Parliament). They also visited COMECE and a project of JRS at Chapelle de la Resurrection. Afterwards they said:

  • I never thought that I had any obligation, or influence, or duty to the EU until I visited Brussels. I am a European now!

MEPs Recieve MRN Report from Ann Scully


  • I was impressed at the seriousness with which the MEPs listened to our representations and their resolve to take the issues further. Being a voice for the voiceless felt so authentically MERCY
  • A very stimulating and enjoyable experience. I was very heartened by the women MEPs. I feel more connected and more part of Europe and all that that entails as a result of the trip.

Mercy Refugee Network - EU Parl 2006

  • I got a great feeling of Mercy solidarity. It was a ‘resurrection’ from the past number of years. As Mercy Sisters we were able again to have a voice and be positively heard on behalf of the voiceless. The whole experience was so positive and so worthwhile.
  • Migration being a European issue, it was appropriate to meet the MEPs in Brussels where ultimate decisions are made.

Mercy Refugee Network at Comece

  • Mercy solidarity, joy, friendship, walking together in pursuit of a better life-style for “the new strangers” in our midst today, namely our Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants.
  • The social aspect of our visit was a great success. We enjoyed the company of sisters from all four provinces and we had lovely, leisurely meals together. The meeting with the MEPs was very lively and views were exchanged without reserve.

Mercy Refugee Network Meets MEPs 2006

  • I was proud to be a Mercy Sister.
  • It was good to concentrate on the establishment of an independent monitoring system as the system leaves a lot to be desired.
  • I was really impressed by Mgr. Noel Treanor’s comment: “This is where evangelisation should be now”

Watch out for the full report in the next MIJN (Europe) newsletter.

Sheila O’Gorman, MIJN (Europe)

About the Network

The Mercy Refugee Network Ireland is a network of about 25 Sisters of Mercy and friends who work with people in the asylum process, visit prisons where people are detained and accompany people who have been recognised as Refugees.

They come from places such as Killarney, Co. Kerry; Cork; Limerick; Carlow; Dublin; Athlone; Monaghan; Mosney, Co. Meath; Sligo; Waterford; Tipperary Town; Thurles; Carrick-on- Suir; and Ennis, Co. Clare;

  • They visit Direct Provision Centres every week and in some cases more often.
  • They work in Drop in Centres, and in language training centres of which one example is “Welcome English” in Cork, that has an enrolment of around 700.
  • They visit Prisons where people are detained both in Dublin and in Limerick.
  • They are involved in women’s and men’s development and health groups.
  • Many are also involved in Advocacy work on behalf of people in the asylum process.
  • They meet in social work, counselling and health care situations, in home visiting and Church gatherings.
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