Cllrs Joe Flaherty and Mick Cahill with Robert Troy TD and Martin Monaghan, who were guests of the Longford Islamic Fellowship at a special event to recognise St Patrick's Day in the Temperance Hall
Local Fianna Fáil public representatives attended a function hosted by the Longford Islamic Fellowship to celebrate St Patrick's Day.
The event was attended by close to 200 Muslims drawn from seventeen different countries and took place within 48 hours of the horrific gun attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand.
At the Temperance Hall event, local leaders of the Islam community gave a summary of the St Patrick story and identified with how he, too, had also been a visitor to these shores, albeit a reluctant one at the outset.
Robert Troy TD said the enthusiasm of the Islamic community and their determination to make good lives for themselves and families here in Longford was very evident.
Cllr Joe Flaherty said the people of Longford were at one with the Islamic community in the wake of the Christchurch attacks and he assured them that there was no place in modern Ireland for prejudice or intolerance.
Cllr Flaherty added: “We are keen to emphasise the diversity dividend that's there for Longford to reap and capitalise on the talents and abilities of our vibrant new Irish communities. Time and time again I am amazed by the opportunities and potential and this evening is no different. The young people we see here will be amongst the decision makers and policy makers of tomorrow and our country will be the better for it.”
Also in attendance were Cllr Mick Cahill and local election hopeful, Martin Monaghan. Cllr Cahill said it was a great honour to be invited.
Local businessman, Mujahid Nanzoor, was one of the event organisers and he said the local Islamic community were keen to share in the St Patrick's Day festivities and Saturday's get together was the start of a busy week of celebrations for many in the community, as they will also celebrate Pakistan Day on Saturday, March 23.
The event was also addressed by community activist, Dr Parvez Butt, who said this was the third successful event organised by Longford Islamic Fellowship and it is going to be a regular feature on the Longford social calendar.