Summer camps support nearly 140 children from refugee families and Direct Provision

Summer camps support nearly 140 children from refugee families and Direct Provision

Clare Local Development Company was delighted to host 5 summer camp programs in Clare this year.

These camps focused on improving children’s English through a variety of activities, making new friends, staying active and having loads of fun.

Each camp we got to meet different children living in the area by hosting camps in Ennis, Kilkee, Shannon, Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan. Activities including sports, drama, games, dance, outdoor activities, arts & crafts and loads more. Even a visit from the Ice cream van in all venues.

We would like to thank all the children who took part, and a special thanks so all at CLDC that made these camps happen. Thanks to each venue for allowing us to bring the camps to those areas, and to the camp leaders for making sure these children had a fun filled experience.

We look forward to hopefully seeing you again soon!

CLDC Staff give moving interview on ClareFM

CLDC Staff give moving interview on ClareFM

Alina Senkova, Ukrainian Response Team

“When you think that life is over, in this moment you find people who will show you that NO, you are ALIVE, you must live. You must start. You must live your life.”

We are very proud of our staff who spoke on ClareFM this morning! Have a listen here (11min) to hear about our Ukraine Response programme, the beauty and challenges of Ukrainian life and culture and Irish integration, and how Clare is leading the way with events like this festival coming up AUGUST 18-20!!

“We would love to show our culture to the Irish people who have been so good to us.”

We especially loved hearing about the film, made by and about Irish and Ukrainian Teenagers, about this moment that is so important, with the challenges faced and the friendships that have formed.


Refugee Week Fun Run builds solidarity, friendship and respect

Refugee Week Fun Run builds solidarity, friendship and respect

Sanctuary Runners came together to run in solidarity at Lee’s Road last Sunday for the very first Refugee Week Fun Run-Midwest. With over 70 attendees of all ages and abilities from across Clare, the midwest, and the world, it was a gathering of warmth, welcomes and respect.

The event, organised by Sanctuary Runners with the collaboration and support of the SICAP program within Clare Local Development Company, Clare Immigrant Support Centre, Clare Sports Partnership, Clare Volunteer Centre and attended by An Garda Siochana, brought people from all corners of the county to run/ walk/ jog as one. All new runners/ walkers/ joggers received one of the iconic Sanctuary Runners blue t-shirts and completed up to 5km through the beautiful surrounds of John O’Sullivan Park.

Following their endeavours, attendees gathered for tea, chats and refreshments, with goodie bags for all the children. Everyone received a Certificate of Participation to mark their part in this special first for the area.

Graham Clifford, founder and CEO of Sanctuary Runners spoke to all attendees in advance of the run: “The reason for Sanctuary Runners is to bring people together, wherever they are from, to run as one, united in our blue t shirts, sharing this experience. It is particularly special to be in Clare to mark this event and enjoy the warmth of the atmosphere created by our volunteers and everyone who has come together here today.”

With the rain staying away on the day, people basked not just in the sunshine at Lee’s Road, but also in the warmth of new connections and friendships, feeling connected to a bigger community, feeling part of a bigger movement and feeling seen and recognised for their worth and contribution.

Sanctuary Runners have recently appointed Jennifer O’Brien as the Regional Development Officer for the Midwest. With a dedicated staff member in the area Sanctuary Runners plan to continue their positive relationships, with supports and services in Clare and across the midwest to further community integration and continue sharing the values of solidarity, friendship and respect.

Sanctuary Runners Ennis meet regularly at the Fairgreen/ Tim Smyth Park. Anyone interested in joining Sanctuary Runners can email

Find out more about Sanctuary Runners at

Ukrainian Response Projects: Children’s Holiday & Festival of Culture!

Ukrainian Response Projects: Children’s Holiday & Festival of Culture!

On International Children’s Day, a holiday was held for Ukrainian children living in County Clare.

On June 1, about fifty Ukrainian children came to a holiday organized by Clare Local Development Company at a children’s entertainment center in Ennis. Rides, pizza, ice cream, lots of friends and smiles…We were delighted to see families from the surrounding towns of County Clare. Some came from Kilkee, some from Lisdoonvarna and Ballyvaughan. Parents could also get to know each other, talk about common topics and share their impressions with their compatriots.


We tried very hard to make the kids feel happy, and spend time with their friends. This year was difficult for them. After all, life has radically changed: Their native schools and kindergartens, classmates and friends, favorite toys, room, country and even language had to be changed. We know how many difficult moments had to be overcome, how many new things to learn during this time. There is incredible gratitude to the Irish people who sheltered and truly protected these children from Russian missiles. Gratitude to the teachers who treat them so attentively and sincerely, and to new classmates who managed to help heal mental wounds.


Currently, the Ukrainian Response Team is actively planning and preparing for the Festival of Ukrainian Culture: “Discover Ukraine”, which is scheduled for August 18-20. This festival will be held on the eve of the Independence Day of Ukraine, which is the beginning of a new independent history of this country.

The main goal of the festival is the integration of the Ukrainian community, and demonstration of the traditions and culture of Ukraine. We plan to introduce local citizens to traditional cuisine, art, literature, music and dances of the Ukrainian people. Among the planned events is a meeting with the famous Ukrainian writer Serhii Adamenko (known in Ireland as Patrick), and a craft market where Ukrainians will be able to sell handmade products, paintings, and a large selection of various Ukrainian dishes. Another event we are looking forward to will be the presentation of a short feature film about the integration of Ukrainian teenagers. This film is currently being shot, and Ukrainian and Irish teenagers take part in it. The final part of the festival will be a big concert at which Ukrainian musicians, dancers, and singers will perform. It will be held in Lisdoonvarna.

We plan to cooperate with other counties in Ireland, so we expect guests from Galway, Dublin, Limerick and other regions.

Come and join us there!

Marking One Year of Ukrainian War

Marking One Year of Ukrainian War

As we mark one year since the invasion of Ukraine began, the staff and Board of Clare Local Development Company want to take a moment to pause and reflect. We wish to remember and honour the many thousands of Ukrainian people who have lost their lives, their homes, and their loved ones, in the past year. We wish to express our support for the Ukrainian community in County Clare, and we continue to work in solidarity with those seeking safety, refuge and support. We are proud to support our local communities in welcoming and integrating our guests, and we have already seen many positive impacts. Our CLDC Ukrainian team members also wish to thank local communities for their kindness and generosity, in adjusting and welcoming the Ukrainian community.

May we find peaceful and inclusive ways forward together.

Оскільки ми відзначаємо рік з початку вторгнення в Україну, співробітники та правління Clare Local Development Company хочуть взяти хвилину, щоб зупинитися та поміркувати. Ми хочемо згадати та вшанувати багато тисяч українців, які втратили свої життя, свої домівки та своїх близьких минулого року. Ми хочемо висловити нашу підтримку українській громаді в графстві Клер і продовжуємо працювати в солідарності з тими, хто шукає безпеки, притулку та підтримки. Ми пишаємося тим, що підтримуємо наші місцеві громади у прийнятті та інтеграції наших гостей, і ми вже побачили багато позитивних наслідків. Члени нашої української команди CLDC також хочуть подякувати місцевим громадам за їхню доброту та щедрість у адаптації та гостинності української громади.

Нехай ми разом знайдемо мирні та всеосяжні шляхи просування вперед.