Chair of the Longford Africans Network, Uruemu Adejinmi, has spoken of her disappointment at the intent behind a photo of children in a Longford school, which was posted on Twitter last week.
But, she says, rather than focus on the negative points made by Gemma O’Doherty in her tweet, she would like to see the focus shift towards the achievements of the children in question, where they won the ECO Rangers competition.
She told the Leader, “The reason the photo was published in the first place was in celebration of the achievements of the school.
“It is unfortunate that a photograph celebrating that and the award itself is not being highlighted, so I would like to congratulate the school and the children for achieving that award. It is something that should be celebrated and highlighted.”
Although admitting it is frustrating to see someone describe multiculturalism as a bad thing, Ms Adejinmi is confident that as a whole, Ireland is an inclusive place for all.
“Ireland is an inclusive country and that is evident in that particular photo and that is something that should be commended by everybody,” she remarked.
Ms Adejinmi added, “It is very frustrating to see, but it just enforces my resolve to continue to highlight the benefits and advantages of a multicultural society. The children in the school are getting on well, they are happy around each other and that is something as adults, we should actually emulate and strive to achieve.
“That comfortability they have with each other, that is why we have a world where everyone is accepted.”
She reiterated that everyone should instead focus on the good work of the school and the inclusiveness of Ireland in 2019, rather than giving Ms O’Doherty any further attention.
“Unfortunately there will always be a section of the population that want to put negative connotations to everything,” suggested Ms Adejinmi.
“If they didn’t use that photo, they would just pick another topic. They will always find something to talk about, so I am not really focusing on it.
“It is their modus operandi. They find anything negative in society to make something out of it.”
She concluded, “I am choosing to celebrate the inclusiveness of Irish society and I am choosing to work to continue that. I don’t want to give them more airtime in terms of what they are trying to achieve. That is why I also want to focus on the achievement of that school.”