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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Migrant-Councillor Internship Scheme

Ekaterina Koneva and Cllr Mark Hackett in Birr.

I am delighted that Cllr Mark Hackett and Birr resident, Ekaterina Koneva have announced their participation on the Immigrant Council of Ireland’s Migrant-Councillor Internship Scheme.

The scheme is a mentoring programme that pairs local councillors with migrants who want to learn more about Irish politics and get involved in their local communities. This is the first occasion that an Offaly councillor has participated.

It was wonderful to welcome Ekaterina to the Laois Offaly Green Party recently and I look forward to supporting her in developing a career in local politics: We need more women and more diverse voices at all decision making tables.

Green Party Councillor, Mark Hackett said

“One look around the Chamber of Offaly County Council will tell you we need to do a whole lot more work on inclusivity and diversity in local politics. There is one woman representative and no one from a diverse, or migrant background. We must change this to fully reflect the new Ireland and we can only do this by supporting people from diverse backgrounds to run for election.”

Ekaterina Koneva, who is originally from Lithuania and has been in Ireland for 16 years, said

“When I first heard of the internship scheme I knew I wanted to participate. I have been considering local politics for some time; there are many migrants in Offaly and we have no representation on the Council. I am passionate about human rights and the green environment.”

Mark continued

“I see Ekaterina’s interest as a win-win-win; she is a woman, she is a migrant, she has Green values and she is deeply rooted in her community in Birr. I look forward to the next 3 months of working alongside her, showing her the work of a Councillor and, hopefully, supporting her to run for the Green Party in Birr MD in the next local elections.”

Ekaterina concluded

“I will be shadowing Mark for the next 12 weeks and I look forward to learning all I can about local politics and processes. I look forward to a day when Ireland is a truly inclusive society and I am excited that I may be able to play a small part in that.”


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