Doras is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working to promote and protect human rights.
Our vision for Ireland is a society where equality and respect for the human rights of migrants are social norms.
Our mission is to promote and uphold the human rights and well-being of migrants through personal advocacy, integration development and collaborative advocacy campaigns at the local and national level.
We provide a free and confidential advice and legal information service on immigration-related issues including asylum applications; Direct Provision; Family Reunification; employment rights and reporting racism.
Each year, over 1,200 migrants access our service. We campaign at local, national and international level for change in policy and legislation relating to Protection & Direct Provision, Anti-Trafficking and Anti-Racism.
Read more about our impact in 2017
We are very grateful for the financial assistance from individual supporters and organisations including Atlantic Philanthropies; Sisters of Mercy; Redemptorist Community; Health Service Executive; Community Foundation for Ireland; Dormant Account Funds; Salesians; Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration; European Commission under the AMIF 2014 – 2020 with support from the Department of Justice & Equality.
Doras is registered as a company and has charitable status.
Doras was founded by a small group of dedicated volunteers in the year 2000, in response to the establishment of the ‘Direct Provision’ system by the Irish government, which dispersed asylum seekers to accommodation centres in Limerick and around the country. The name Doras was chosen to symbolise an open door welcoming new communities to Limerick and as an acronym for Development Organisation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
Initially, the organisation supported asylum seekers by providing English language classes and outreach visits to the centre’s – these activities remain an important part of our work.
We have grown rapidly over the years and now employ a team of full-time and part-time staff members, supported by our dedicated volunteers – some of whom have been with Doras since the very beginning. In early 2015, Doras opened a sub-office in Portlaoise to implement a refugee resettlement project, assisting newly arrived Syrian refugees to effectively integrate into community life in Portlaoise. Though this project officially concluded in mid 2016, Doras continue to support the families through the volunteer family advocacy programme.
In 2017, Doras opened a sub-office in Wexford to support the integration of Syrian refugee families and individuals who resettled to the region, building on our expertise and experience in Portlaoise.
Chief Executive Officer: Sean McSweeney
Education Coordinator: Helen O’Grady
Helen has worked for Doras Luimní since 2008. A recipient of Vodafone Awards in 2008, Helen initially joined Doras as Education and Employment Coordinator. Helen has a particular interest in integration through education and she is now responsible for the implementation of Doras projects funded by Pobal through the European Refugee Fund. Prior to joining Doras, Helen worked in the field of development education where she became involved with training and supporting asylum seekers and refugees. She was also involved in a European Gruntvig partnership with five countries that exchanged learning on mentoring practices for newly arrived migrants. Helen has a Degree in Social Studies in Social Care and a Masters in Contemporary Migration and Diaspora Studies.
Policy Officer: Aideen Roche
Aideen joined Doras in January 2014. She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law, a higher Diploma in Project Management and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology, focusing her academic studies on migrant integration, the rights of asylum seekers, and anti-discrimination issues. Aideen has been working in the human rights sector and with migrant and minority groups since 2006, in Ireland and internationally.
Communications & Coordination Officer: Monika Fallon
Monika has been working as a Legal Intern with Doras since February 2017. She has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Virginia, a M.Sc in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University and a M.A. in Mediterranean Security from the University of Malta. After a year in Malta studying about refugees in the Mediterranean, she decided to use her education to help migrants in Ireland.
Finance Officer: Audrey O' Sullivan
Audrey joined Doras in July 2017. Audrey has over twenty years’ experience in both the Public and Private financial sectors. Audrey holds a qualification as an Accountant Technician (IATI) and further her studies in Certified Public Accountancy(CPA). She also holds a qualification in Supervisory Management. Audrey has worked closely with the Department of Social Protection and Department of Justice & Equality in her previous role as Financial Administrator in the Disability Sector and Traveller Integration Project. Audrey is currently completing her practice hours in University of Limerick as a Counsellor/Psychotherapist. Audrey has a passion for equality and choice for all.
Reception & Admin Assistant: Anne Purcell
Anne started working with Doras in August 2017. Anne has previous experience working in the fields of legal and medical administration. Anne is from Limerick and is enjoying the experience of working in the environment of the Doras office.
Legal Officer: Fiona McCaul
Fiona McCaul first joined Doras Luimni in August 2013 on a 9 month internship with the legal service. She continued working with the legal service on a voluntary basis and was appointed Legal Officer in June 2015. She holds a B.A (Hons) in European Community Studies and a first class Postgraduate Honours Degree in Irish Law (LL.b) from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Fiona also holds a Diploma in Community Development from NUIG and is an advocate of achieving social change through redistribution in order to eliminate poverty and social exclusion. Fiona is also passionate about recognising diversity through promoting the full participation of minorities, to ensure an equal and accessible society. Fiona provides one-to-one legal advice and information on a range of immigration related issues.
Advice & Legal Information Officer: Rachael Bermingham
Rachael started working with Doras in September 2015 as the Advice and Information Intern with the legal service. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in New York as well as an M.A. in Sociology of Development and Globalisation from University College Cork. She has worked in the political and community development fields in both the U.S. and Australia. While living in Western Australia she worked as an Electorate/Research officer, working to help end the offshore detention of asylum seekers and promoting LGBTI rights. In New York she worked to improve community access to nutrition education and government assistance programs for low income families. She has a passion for human rights and equality.
Advice & Information Officer: Consolata Okonkwo
Consolata Nneka Okonkwo holds degrees in Business Studies and Banking &Finance. She also has diplomas in event management, Business with Information Systems, ECDL, SAGE Accounting and Payroll, and has completed a course on Community Work in a Changing Ireland. She worked with PAUL Partnership as a Receptionist/Administrator from 2007 to 2009. Consolata joined Doras Luimní as a Receptionist Administrator and after a few years became our Operations Assistant. She enjoys helping clients by meeting with them one-to-one. Consolata’s dedication led her to volunteer with Doras Luimni as Advice and information Intern while also working as a Case Worker for Immigration Advice Service in Limerick for a number of years. Presently she is the Advice & Information Officer and will continue her support for people and migrants in Limerick. Consolata is originally from Nigeria, and is bilingual in Igbo and English.
Integration Support Worker: Ahmed Hassan Mohamed
Ahmed first joined Doras on a student placement supporting the Advice and Support team, as part of the LIT BA in Social Care programme. Ahmed has worked in areas related to youth, education, environment, peace building, gender and leadership for the last 4 years, including support & outreach roles with Paul Partnership and Kerry Action for Development Education. Ahmed has also worked with the Global Peace Foundation Ireland for the last 3 years, focusing on engaging youth and students within Limerick in environmental sustainability, peace and education related projects.
Support & Outreach Officer: Majka Ryan
Majka holds two bachelor’s degrees, a Master’s of Arts in Sociology & Applied Social Research, and a Sociology PhD from the University of Limerick. Her doctorate research on decision making in the DEASP and her work there as an Executive Officer have provided her with extensive knowledge of Social Welfare policies and practices. She has an excellent understanding of the issues facing migrants in Ireland and a strong commitment to human rights-based approaches to addressing social exclusion and inequality. Majka’s role as Support & Outreach Officer allows her to provide advice and information on immigration and welfare-related matters to our clients, as well as reach out to local Direct Provision centres to provide support and guidance to residents. Majka is originally from Poland, and is bilingual in Polish and English.
Resettlement Support Worker (Wexford): Hannah Culkin
Hannah first joined Doras as an advice and information intern in November 2014. She holds a BA International in English literature and sociology from NUI Galway and KU Leuven, and a 1st class honours MA in Global migration from UCD. Hannah has been involved with asylum seeker integration initiatives in Galway and Dublin and with North Korean young people in Seoul, South Korea. She has worked on Syrian programme refugee resettlement projects since 2015 in Ireland and in the UK.
Resettlement Support Worker (Wexford): Mary Burkart
Mary joined Doras Luimní in 2017 and works with resettled refugees from our sub-office in Wexford. Mary has been involved with issues associated with the displacement of people, and international processes that lead to friction and inequity since the 1970s. Mary has maintained an interest in the Middle East, since she spent six years of her childhood in Jerusalem, as well as a year in both Cairo and Damascus.
Throughout the 1980 to 1990s, Mary worked in IT roles in the financial services in Dublin. Over the past twenty years Mary has been working with people in prison, struggling with substance addiction, developing literacy and numeracy, in both Ireland and in Morocco. In 2015, Mary was an intern with the IBVM NGO office to the United Nations in New York. Mary speaks Arabic, French and Spanish.
Programme Coordinator (Wexford): Mercedes Moussa
Mercedes started volunteering with Doras in November 2017, assisting in the refugee resettlement programme in Wexford. She has a masters degree in Law and an honours degree in Political Science from the University of Sydney. She worked as a lawyer in a prominent Australian law firm in the area of plaintiff litigation, representing a large number of clients and fighting to obtain justice for injured workers. Mercedes is passionate about workers rights, having experience in employment law and the campaigns unit of a large Australian public sector trade union. Mercedes has also spent time interning and working in remote Aboriginal communities.
Translator, Interpreter & Cross-cultural Worker (Wexford): Sulafa Ali
Sulafa is a graduate of the University of Gezira, Sudan, and has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from UCD, Dublin. Previously employed as clinical practice manager at the Ely Hospital in Wexford from 2002 to 2017, she joined Doras as an interpreter and cross-cultural worker in November 2017. Well versed in Arabic and English, Sulafa has a deep understanding of Cross-Cultural issues and the integration challenges facing migrants. Sulafa utilises her communications and interpersonal skills in her role of supporting refugees resettling in County Wexford.
Chairperson: John Lannon
Board Member: Donnah Vuma
Board Member: Trisha Rainsford
Board Member: Marsha Montgomery
PATRON: Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland
Board Member: Therese Barry
Board Member: Rizwan Kahn
Board Member: James Carr
Board Member: Gordon Milne
FOUNDER & LIFE PRESIDENT: Anne Scully
Doras has signed up to the Dóchas Code of Conduct for Images and Messages, which provides a framework of guiding principles that organisations can refer to in designing and implementing their public communications strategy. Doras has adopted the Code and we are committed to the values of the code including a belief in the equality of all people and acceptance of the need to promote fairness, solidarity and justice. Where reasonable and practical, within the need to reflect reality, we strive to:
- Choose images and messages based on the values of respect, equality, solidarity and justice;
- Truthfully represent any image or situationin its immediate and wider context in order to improve public understanding of the complexities of the issues involved;
- Avoid images and messages that potentially stereotype, sensationalise or discriminate against people, situations or places;
- Use images, messages, and case studies with the full understanding, participation and permission of the subjects (or their parents/guardian);
- Ensure that those whose situation is being represented have the opportunity to communicate their stories themselves;
- Establish and record whether the subjects wish to be named or identifiable and always act accordingly;
- Conform to the highest standards in relation to human rights and the protection of vulnerable people.
Download the Code of Conduct or go to the Dóchas website for more information. To contact the Doras Communications Officer about any aspect of the Code of Conduct or our implementation of the code, please email email@example.com or call 061 310328. We welcome your feedback.