A WEST Cork restaurant is hosting the residents of Clonakilty’s direct provision centre for a Christmas lunch next Wednesday.
Monk’s Lane in Timoleague has issued an open invite to all of the 96 people of various nationalities who currently reside there, and it’s believed a large number plan to go along.
The restaurant/bar is run by husband and wife team Gavin and Michelle Moore, who decided to host the event after Michelle’s sister Siobhán was recently involved in fundraising for the centre, as part of a Cork-based campaign to help those in direct provision. Siobhán, a well known make-up artist in the area, was part of a group, spearheaded by Kinsale-based Ciara McDonnell, that raised almost €3,000 which resulted in every mum in the centre being given a €50 voucher to allow them choose their child’s own gift this Christmas, as opposed to having one chosen for them.
More of the funds will go to managers to be spent in the centre, and the remainder will be used to transport residents to Monk’s Lane next Wednesday, with Gavin and Michelle covering the cost of the meal. Gavin said they wanted to do more than just contribute to the fundraiser.
‘We wanted to give them a day out and show them that they are very welcome in our community. It must be very hard living in direct provision without means to make money and in many cases separated from family members, so we just wanted to give them a nice lunch and spread a bit of West Cork Christmas cheer to our new neighbours.’
Siobhan said a lot of people locally are unaware of the centre. ‘There is a little town within a town in Clonakilty, that many of our community don’t know exists. I’ve been guilty of it myself, getting caught up in my own things, but it’s not a chore to welcome and include the residents into our community. It’s an honour.’