Philippine Honorary Consul to Ireland Raymond Garrett talks about the Filipino migrants in Ireland the Northern Ireland. Photo by Jonathan Borromeo / Filipino Association of Cavan

08 June 2019 LONDON—The Philippine Honorary Consulate in Ireland together with Outreach Ireland and the Filipino Association of Cavan sparked important discussions on the impact of Brexit to everyone who regularly traverses the Ireland and Northern Ireland border. This cross-border conference called “Mind the Brexit Gap: Celebrating Diversity and Inclusion in the Border” gathered speakers representing the governments of the Philippines, Northern Ireland, and Ireland, as well as a multisectoral panel representing various stakeholders at Lake Country Cavan on 01 June.

“Brexit is not just about trade and the movement of goods and services. It is also about human beings, thus, no one should be left behind, including migrants and migrant workers in anything that has to do with Brexit,” said Labor Attaché Amuerfina R. Reyes.

Philippine Honorary Consul to Ireland Raymond Garrett opened the discussions by talking about the longstanding ties between the Philippines and Ireland and by shedding light on the profile of overseas Filipinos in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“The world speaks in many languages and one voice. The language is not Irish or English, German or Japanese. It speaks the language of hope and the language of trust,” said one of the event’s panelists, Daniel Downey McAtackney, Cavan Public Participation Network Resource Worker. “No matter the blood, the skin, the tribe, the nation, we are one people and one world.”

With the Brexit deadline looming closer, Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo underscored the timeliness of the conversation that took place in Cavan. “Brexit is a complicated process that affects everyone in this part of the world. One of the ways we can help each other prepare for this is by having a candid and honest discussion on how this will possibly affect everyone, not just Filipinos.”

Other panelists during the forum included Bronagh Hinds (Northern Ireland), UN Expert on Women’s Engagement in Peace Processes & Previous Participant of the Good Friday Agreement; Bridget Boyle (Ireland - Cavan), Access Officer & Irish Wheelchair Society Member; Daniel Downey (Ireland - Cavan), Cavan Public Participation Resource Worker; Frances Shiels (Northern Ireland) - Advocate of Transgender & Intersex Individuals, Founder of Focus: The Identity Trust; Ping Cao (Ireland – Louth) – Chinese Migrant & Lecturer/Researcher at Dundalk Institute of Technology; and Uruemu Adejinmi (Ireland - Longford) Longford Africans Network and Social Inclusion Advocate.

The forum was moderated by Philippine Consulate General Director for Marketing and Communications Vanda Brady. END


Labor Attaché Amuerfina Reyes shares her thoughts on how Brexit could affect Filipino workers in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Photo by Jonathan Borromeo / Filipino Association of Cavan