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November 2nd 2020

Delma Sweeney

Our speaker today is John Murphy - The Challenge of leading a team remotely during Covid 19.
Forthcoming Speakers and Events
Nov 9th Stan Mason will speak about his 200 + year old family business
Nov 16th Prisoner Liaison Project. Barry Owens of IASIO. Nov 23rd Gabe Hau, Rotary Club of Melbourne, “Creating a Peacebuilding Club.”
Nov 30th St. Andrew’s Day: President Alan Davidson will speak on one of his favourite subjects.
Dec 7th Special General Meeting, and also review of Dundrum Christmas Tree project.
Dec 14th The Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu.
Rotary Rangers Walks Due to the above new restrictions on movements of our population, PP Brian sends the message that regretfully it is not be possible for our Rotary Ranger's weekly walks to continue. There is nothing to stop individuals walking within 5 KMs of our homes, but not as a group. There is a law now to legally fine anyone breaking the latest rules, which range from €500 to €2000, per offence. Hopefully in six weeks’ time, he will be able to send you new walking plans. Before the lockdown, Pat, Alan, Eoghan and Brian walked the two piers in Dunlaoghaire, in perfect weather, which they completed in just over two hours.
There were 28 Member attendees on 19th October. Guests included Sonia Crepaldi; Simon Braun; Toni Rathfelder; Bridget Aylmer of Dunlaoghaire Rotary; and Poonam Sood.
Hon Sec Tony McCourt gave apologies from Ethna Fitzgerald, Roger Owens and David Horkan.
Thought for the Day
Delma Sweeney gave the thought for the day, honouring Rotary members’ commitment to world peace and the eradication of polio and in recognition of United Nation’s Day and World Polio Day both celebrated on 24th October.
President’s Announcements
Club members have enjoyed visits to Russborough House and the Botanical Gardens. Sadly, due to the Covid pandemic the proposed visit to Dublin Zoo on the 8th November, is postponed until a lower level of restrictions is introduced.
Celebration of the United Nations Day Club members dressed in national costumes representing various countries. Brazil Sonia (Guest) France. Mary Germany. Alexander India Poonam (Guest ) Ireland John C, Delma, Tony McCourt, Paul Japan. Pamela Mexico. Brian Morocco. Mark Palestine Rana Philippines Mariandy Scotland. Alan Sinem Eminoğlu representing Turkey Spain Dorethy Turkey Sinem Zambia Padraig PP Mariandy called on each person in turn, who gave a greeting, or said something interesting about the country they represented. We were also greeted by some youthful Zambian visitors, introduced by Padraig Ó Fainín. Club members thus celebrated the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, in which Rotary played a role and did this in a colourful fun and creative manner.
Last Meeting’s Speaker Last meeting’s speaker was Lalini Veerassamy, was introduced by PP Mariandy who told us that she is much travelled and much qualified, speaking six languages. Lalini is United Nations chief of mission of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Ireland. She told us that IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. IOM has been operational since 1961 but remained an intergovernmental organisation, only recently joining the United Nations in September 2016. In that year they joined the United Nations General Assembly high-level summit to address large movements of refugees and migrants. 2018 was a key year for the United Nations when nearly all member states came together and adopted the global contract on migration. Today people move so easily and cheaply in the world. One in ten people in the world are moving and migrating to find better opportunities in another country, Ireland being one. Countries need to work together to manage borders. When Lalini worked for three years as Chief of Mission for IOM Djibouti she saw the work of Rotary in action. Approximately 500/600 migrants passed through Djibouti each day from war torn Yemen. Each migrant carried a plastic bottle of water. Empty bottles posed an environmental problem. Rotary worked to raise awareness of the impact of these bottles on the environment. IOM has been in Ireland since 2001 working in a number of areas: Voluntary Return – a free service for people thinking about returning to their country of origin. Economic migrants who find that they would prefer to return home are supported in their return and
resettled in their home country. Family Reunification – IOM work in partnership with the Government of Ireland and other agencies to assist refugees who wish to bring their family members to Ireland. Resettlement - IOM works closely with governments, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), non-government organizations and other partners to resettle refugees. IOM Ireland has facilitated the resettlement of programme refugees from over 19 countries. Counter-Trafficking - counter-trafficking activities aim to prevent trafficking in persons (particularly women and children) and to protect the rights of migrants. IOM coordinate counter-trafficking training for government officials and an Garda Síochána. Lalini concluded her talk by saying that working with migrants and refugees is one of the most difficult UN roles, tricky to set up, requiring much diplomacy, but saving people’s lives.
President Alan requested that Hon Secretary Tony McCourt tell us about his experience as a member of the Irish Defence Forces serving in a peacekeeping role for the United Nations. Tony told us that the Irish Defence Forces have participated in many different UN Peacekeeping Operations, on armed and unarmed missions, since 1958. Ireland has a long and proud tradition in UN Peace Operations. About 86 members of the Irish Defence Forces have died while on UN Service since 1960. His first UN Mission was as a Platoon Commander in Cyprus in 1967 with an armed Irish Battalion interposed between Turkish enclaves and Greek military units. Many ceasefires were negotiated and monitored during that time between Turkish and Greek forces. His second UN Mission was from June 1974 to December 1975, as an unarmed UN Military Observer (UNMO) with the UN Truce Supervision Organisation (UNTSO). UNTSO was deployed on all of the borders of Israel to monitor the ceasefire since the founding and recognition of the State of Israel by the UN in 1948. Importantly, UNTSO was the first Peacekeeping Operation to be established by the UN. It is headquartered in Jerusalem in the old Governor General's House and is staffed with unarmed military officers from many different countries. During his time with UNTSO he lived in an apartment in Beirut, Lebanon with his family. His military duties involved observing and reporting on military activities on the border and other operational activities of the Lebanon based UN Military Observers. Unfortunately, the Lebanese civil war started on Easter Sunday 1975 and the security situation in Beirut became seriously difficult. As an UNTSO Operations Officer he was responsible for organising the evacuation of some 1,500 UN dependents (including his wife and daughter) from Beirut to safe locations in October 1975. While UNTSO is
still operational its role is now mostly limited to the borders of Israel with Lebanon and Syria. There are, of course, other UN Peacekeeping Operations across the region. His third UN Peacekeeping duty was as a Legal Adviser with an armed Irish Army Battalion in South Lebanon in 1986 - 1987. He has been back to Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East region a number of times for short periods of duty since then until about 1995. The meeting concluded with the playing of the song “We are the World” organised by PP Mariandy.

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