Aisling supporter to run Dublin City Marathon

Donate generously to Ann's run for Aisling

Ann Stephenson is running the Dublin marathon in support of the Aisling Project. She has a particular interest in Aisling and the work that we do. Here is why in her own words:

At the moment I am training really hard for my first full marathon which I will run in Dublin on October 28th. While I am all too aware of the persistent request for funds for charities, I only ever intend to run one marathon (famous last words) and therefore this will be a once off plea for a relatively small charity. The charity in question is the ‘Aisling return to Ireland’ foundation and no donation is too small.

Britain has always been the principal destination of Irish immigrants and today it is not uncommon for Irish people to work in London and commute to Ireland at the weekend. It almost seems illogical therefore that so many migrant workers were never repatriated and that despite its proximity some of these men never set foot in Ireland again. Many of these migrant workers were from poor rural backgrounds and had no experience of city living. While most thrived and made England their home, many others became lonely and marginalised. These men sought refuge in the plethora of Irish bars in London. After a hard day on a construction site the convivial Public house became a home away from home and the ‘doss house’ (hostel) a place to get ‘a lie down’. Long arduous days of physical labour were concluded in the pub and not surprisingly alcohol problems developed. Many of these men never returned home to Ireland, even on holiday, they never married, had families, or integrated in any way. They became fragmented, isolated, and filled with an enormous sense of shame at having let their families in Ireland down. Psychologically the journey back home became harder and harder and the grip of alcoholism became tighter.

Aisling is an Irish name which means ‘Dream’ or ‘Vision’ and the charity was set up some 25 years ago to try and support and repatriate these workers. It receives funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland and has Ardal O’Hanlon, aka ‘Father Dougal’ from the ‘Father Ted’ series, as its patron. Dara O’Brien and Graham Norton also support Ardal in his endeavours with the charity.

Please support her run by going to her Virgin Money Giving page by clicking on the link here: