As TDs and Senators began to return to Leinster House following the Summer recess, they were greeted by an email from Ukraine Civil Society Forum.
This is the super NGO established under the auspices of the Immigrant Council of Ireland to apply pressure on the state to provide more resources to cope with the numbers of people coming to live in the Irish Republic since the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
USCF embraces all of the migrancy NGOs as you might expect, with prominent roles for niche groups without whom it seems gay, or elderly or studenty or black or otherwise multipally disadvantaged Ukrainians would not be able to cope. The text also indicates that the Forum regards the Ukrainian refugee as just one part of the remit of the migrancy sector.
The Community Foundation has been central to all of this and significantly increased its income in 2022, from €18.2 million to just over €25 million. Much of that increase was accounted for by €5 million given to it by the Department of Rural and Community Development for the Ireland for Ukraine Fund which the Community Foundation is responsible for rechannelling.
While the optics imply that the CFI fundraised vast amounts of money from voluntary public donations, the reality is that the taxpayer accounted for the bulk of it which came from the state, and was augmented by various foundations. The money itself was overwhelmingly then channelled through favoured NGOs, big and small.
As of April this year, a total of €7,500,000 was granted to the Ireland for Ukraine Fund run by the Community Foundation. Of that, €2,720,000 was given out in four payments of €680,000 each to Unicef, Concern, Trócaire and the Irish Red Cross. The remainder of the €5,247,332 dispensed made its way in smaller amounts to more than 100 organisations.
Most of the groups were already in receipt of funding, much of it in state grants also channelled through the Community Foundation. The larger and more powerful NGOs took a considerable part of the money. Doras Luimní received €50,000. FLAC got €25,000. Nasc €20,000. Threshold €20,000.
The point being that as with all such charitable things, the money ultimately comes overwhelmingly from the citizens, and it is in greater part given to organisations that already benefit to a huge extent from public funding.
For instance, among the grantees from the Ireland for Ukraine Fund are the Immigrant Council of Ireland which received €150,000. Its income was over €900,000 in 2021.
Which brings us nicely back to where we began with the email from the Ukraine Civil Society Response to TDs looking for more cash, because €100,000 of the Community Foundation money channelled through the Ireland for Ukraine Fund went to the Ukraine Civil Society Response which is administered by the Immigrant Council.
At least the Community Foundation will not have had any difficulty in finding where to send the cheque as the current CEO of the Community Foundation is Denise Charlton who for over a decade was CEO of the Immigrant Council.
It truly is an astonishingly small world populated at all levels and interlinked at all levels with a relatively small number of people with powerful connections.
The source of the funding for the component parts of the Ukraine Civil Society Forum ought to be borne in mind when pondering their latest demands and indeed their criticisms, given that the NGOs are demanding stuff and complaining about stuff not being done that they have largely been funded to do. “Fail again, fail better” perhaps? To quote Samuel Beckett.
At the core of the demands is the claim that there is a “lack of a whole government plan” to provide more and better accommodation for the Ukrainians, along with employment and everything else that goes with “integration.”
This will involve the establishment of a task force, of course, and pressure on local authorities to “develop, lease and procure local non-hospitality accommodation.”
It is apparent from the above that this umbrella NGO migrancy pressure group has long since stopped looking at the unfortunate Ukrainians as short-term clients, but rather as a long-term project.
This is how these companies, which is what they are, turn a few bob – and the more refugees and all the downstream multipliers of racism and integration and interculturalism and intersectionality “helping” agencies there are the better. For themselves – to put it bluntly.
And what is more, they clearly have the ear of the Government. Proof of that being that while the list of demands includes the outlining of a “potential path to permanent residency after temporary protection,” the covering email sent yesterday by Emma Lane-Spollen on behalf of the Forum boasts that this is already one of four demands that have been progressed.
Proof of that pudding being that “The first batch of emails went out yesterday to Beneficiaries of Temporary Protection inviting them to apply for an IRP card (Irish Resident Permit).”
Likewise, she pointed to the announcement yesterday by the Department of the Taoiseach that they were establishing a Community Engagement Team. This is to be headed by Eibhlin Byrne and will prepare local communities for more random arrivals over the foreseeable future.
What a rewarding future it promises to be. Eibhlin Byrne, by the way, is a former Fianna Fáil mayor of Dublin with a considerable background in the NGO sphere.
She recently posted an article, from a Far Left source, on the For Roysh exploiting the consequences of the unplanned arrival of tens of thousands of refugees, on her Linkedin page, so we can look forward to meaningful engagement from that quarter.
Anyway, the NGOs have one of their own on the job, and TDS and Senators are in truth not being asked to support their demands, but just being kept informed that well they don’t really matter because, like, all of the stuff the NGOs are demanding is going to be delivered anyway.
Of course, you won’t have gotten any email about this.