About us

MRCI is a national organisation working with migrants and their families in Ireland to promote justice, empowerment and equality.

Our Vision

Our vision is for an open, equal, just and diverse society where migrant workers and their families can move, work and live in dignity.

 

Our Mission

Grounded in social justice, antiracism and equality, our mission is to empower migrant workers in low paid and precarious work to secure and advance their rights through collective action.

Our Values

Our Model

We believe that people closest to the struggle are closest to the solution. Our community work model ensures people impacted by injustice and exploitation are front and centre of our organising, campaigns, projects and strategic advocacy. MRCI’s action groups are born out of the issues affecting migrants and made up of the people directly affected, who are supported through training and skills development to take coordinated action for change.

We organise and mobilise. We create safe and brave spaces for people to connect, build relationships and challenge exploitation, discrimination and social exclusion. We are committed to continually developing and innovating to ensure that participation means real and substantial opportunities for people to take action and lead.

Caseworker at the drop in centre

We provide free, reliable and confidential information to thousands of people through our national Drop-In Centre, on immigration, trafficking for labour exploitation, employment and housing. Through our frontline services and casework, we document trends, generate data, identify opportunities for strategic litigation, and often make first contact with the people who get involved in action groups and campaigns.

Past

We’ve supported groups of workers when their employers abandoned them, documented racism on our streets and at our borders, won landmark victories for domestic workersvictims of forced labourstudentsundocumented workers and families.

From the start, our work has been led by people affected by the very issues they fight against – restaurant workersau pairsundocumented young people and more – and supported by countless allies from across Ireland and abroad.

Present

Right now, we handle over 4,000 cases a year in our drop-in centre, helping people in Ireland live and work in safety and dignity.

We empower workers with the tools to fight for their rights in the workplace, challenge exploitation and demand respect and recognition.

Together with undocumented workers and families we won a historic regularisation, which will enable thousands of people who have been in Ireland for years to finally come out of the shadows and live a full and dignified life.

Future

We believe people should be able to move in safety and work with dignity

Now more than ever, MRCI’s work is essential. The work we do in the coming years will shape the face of migration and work in Ireland for generations.

Our focus on collective action, community empowerment and innovation is designed to build stronger communities, better workplaces, and a fairer, more open society for all.

Together, we’ll make it happen.

Drop in Centre Manager

Sancha Magat

Sancha coordinates MRCI's Drop in Centre, providing information on rights and entitlements to migrant workers and their families, and advocating on their behalf with service providers and government departments. She also engages with organisations around the country, to build relationships so that the needs of migrant workers and their families are met. Prior to joining MRCI she was a Pastoral Care worker supporting asylum seekers, refugees and migrants accessing education. She is a Peace Commissioner in Dublin. Sancha holds a Master’s Degree in Management, Community and Voluntary Services from All Hallows College. She is from the Philippines and has lived in Ireland since 1999.
Tatjana
Referrals and Helpline Operator

Tatjana Dobosa

Tatjana acts as the first point of contact for everyone coming to MRCI for support and information. She joined MRCI in 2021. Tatjana worked as Information Officer at the Citizens Information Centre and has extensive knowledge in social welfare matters and in customer service. She has training in immigration, social welfare, housing, pensions, child protection and mediation. Originally from Ukraine, Tatjana speaks Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian, and English.
Drop in Centre Coordinator

Karina Korotkevica

Prior to joining MRCI in 2018, Karina provided information, advice and advocacy to Eastern European communities in Fingal Citizens Information Office and worked in a corporate financial firm as an Internal Auditor and Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Specialist. Karina holds a BA in Economics, Politics and Law from DCU and Higher Certificate in Business, Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management from National College of Ireland. She also holds an LLM in International and European Business Law from Trinity College and has a recognised certification in Information Advice and Advocacy from Citizens Information Board. Karina has comprehensive experience in providing advocacy on social, civic and employment rights to local communities. She is very interested and passionate about workers’ rights and employment law.
Caseworker Trainee

Elsadig Ishag

Elsadig provides casework support as part of our Drop in Centre. He joined MRCI in 2022. Originally from Sudan, he has extensive experience in human rights, having worked with refugees, in humanitarian aid activities, combating human trafficking, and providing repatriation support to migrants. Elsadig speaks fluent English and Arabic.
Anti-Trafficking Lead

Isabel Toolan

Isabel provides strategic casework supports and advocates in the area of trafficking for labour exploitation. She joined MRCI in 2019. Previously, she worked with asylum seekers and refugees in the USA. Isabel holds a juris doctor (law) degree from the University of the District of Columbia.
Anti-Trafficking Caseworker

Hilary Bizumuremyi

Hilary provides strategic casework support in anti-trafficking and labour exploitation. He joined MRCI in 2021. He has been working with human rights in Ireland since 2011. Hilary worked with asylum seekers in direct provision centres, with Crosscare Migrants Project, and with the Integration Centre. He ran an immigration clinic as an immigration advisor under the auspices of Dublin City Centre Citizens information Service for 6 years. He holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from NUI Galway, a BA in Development Studies from Kimmage Development Studies Centre and a Diploma in Information Provision and Advocacy Practice from TU Dublin.
Deputy Director

Bill Abom

Bill coordinates worker empowerment and organising with migrants in vulnerable work sectors. He joined MRCI in 2021. He is a community worker, organiser and campaigner with over 25 years' experience working with NGOs and trade unions in the field of worker justice and migrant rights. He has a Master's Degree in Development Studies from Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Dublin. He is currently a board member of Uplift.
Development Worker: Agri-food

Stanley Nwaneri

Stanley coordinates and enables migrant workers groups in the agri-food sector to organise for better working conditions He joined MRCI in 2019. He previously worked on a cross-border project supporting migrant workers in the border region. Stanley studied community development at CMETB and IT at Carlow Institute of Technology. Before joining MRCI, he was the chairperson of the Cavan 4C Society. He has set up a number of community groups in Cavan. In recognition of his work in Cavan, he was elected to the Cavan County Local Development board of directors and the Cavan Joint Policing Committee Members, Cavan Economic, Enterprise & Planning.
Workplace Rights Development Worker

Sylwia Nowakowska

Sylwia joined MRCI in 2018 and to coordinate project on preventing and combating trafficking for labour exploitation. Sylwia is a former trade union activist with over 10 years’ experience as a shop steward and expertise in Irish employment law. Sylwia holds a degree in economics and a diploma in IPASS and speaks fluent English and Polish.
Referrals and Helpline Operator

Tian Yu Lloyd

Tian provides support to the regularisation scheme and the Drop-in centre (maternity cover). She joined MRCI in 2021. Tian has been active in supporting the integration of migrant communities in Ireland since 2015. She is a believer that promoting a culture of mutual respect and inclusion is good for the Irish society on all levels. Tian has a MA degree in Refugee Integration from Dublin City University.
Community Work Lead

Mairéad McDevitt

Mairéad oversees community work activities in MRCI. She supports the My Fair Home network, a community of migrant home carers in Ireland and also co-ordinates the Bobby Gilmore Fellowship. She joined MRCI in 2018 as a youth worker, with the Young, Paperless&Powerful campaign. She holds a Masters in Community&Youth Work from Maynooth University. She previously worked in the service industry for 20 years. She holds a BA in French&Italian, and a Diploma in Environmental Science&Social Policy, both from UCC. Mairéad is deeply committed to, and passionate about, community and youth work, fairness and equality, anti-discriminatory narratives, social and climate justice.
Campaign Lead

Neil Bruton

Neil leads the strategic planning and community development for the Justice for the Undocumented campaign. He joined MRCI in 2018. Neil’s background is in marketing and he has held various marketing management positions over the past ten years for both private companies and NGOs in Ireland and abroad. Neil holds a BA in Business & Languages and an MBS Masters in marketing, both from Dublin City University.
Director

Edel McGinley

Edel has been with MRCI since 2006, leading and growing the organisation since 2014. In her time here, she coordinated the Justice for the Undocumented Campaign, led communications and the work on irregular migration and anti-trafficking, and coordinated the Domestic Workers Action Group. She is chair of the Platform for the International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants. Before joining MRCI, Edel worked in social care and youth work. She has a BA in Applied Social Studies, an MA in Globalisation, and Diplomas in Youth and Community Work and Digital Media Technology. Edel is passionate about community work, empowering communities, and campaigning for change.
Finance and Operations Manager

Hilary Royston

Hilary is responsible for the day-to-day accounting and financial management, budgeting and reporting on financial performance of MRCI. She joined MRCI in 2009. Previously, Hilary worked as a Programme Support Worker for Link Community Development focusing on school improvements in Sub-Saharan Africa. She also served with the US Peace Corps in Malawi as a Community Health Worker. She currently sits on the Board of Sex Workers Alliance Ireland. She is a qualified ACCA Accountant, she holds an MPhil in International Peace Studies from Trinity College Dublin and a Degree in European Studies from the University of Limerick.
Communications Officer

Caroline França

Caroline coordinates MRCI’s communications and engagement with local and national media, the organisation’s presence across social media channels and supporter engagement. She joined MRCI in 2020. She has worked at Amnesty International and Alzheimer’s Society on a range of campaigns for change. Caroline has a BA in Law from Universidade de Sao Paulo and an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from Trinity College. Originally from Brazil, she is passionate about empowering communities to campaign for social and economic justice.
Social Enterprise Manager

Aoife Smith

Aoife has been with MRCI since 2009 working alongside domestic workers, home care workers and au pairs on policy and campaigns to tackle discrimination based on gender, employment and immigration status. She is a co-founder and Board member of The Great Care Co-op. Her background is in Community Development and Journalism. She is interested in solution-driven actions and methodologies to tackle social issues. Integral to her practice is supporting communities to generate and drive solutions to barriers they experience.
Chairperson

Lucy Peprah

Lucy Peprah has worked and volunteered in the area community development, social inclusion, and migrant integration in Ireland since 2002. Her work includes supporting migrants to actively participate in Irish society through advocacy, information sharing, training, lobbying for policy development and change. Lucy has been a member of the board of the Migrants Rights Centre Ireland since 2012 and was elected as Chair in 2021. She is a member of Association for the Improvement of Maternity Services Ireland, volunteers as the organisation’s Minority and Migrant Support officer and is the current Vice Chair of the board. Lucy has a Masters degree in Mediation and Conflict Intervention from NUI Maynooth. Other postgraduate qualifications include Community Development, Project Management, Business Administration and Adult Training and Development. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree (honours) in Theatre Arts and English Language from the University of Ghana. Lucy is a certified mediator, a qualified trainer and facilitator; she is also experienced in using the performing arts as a tool to promote social change and inclusion especially among young people from immigrant backgrounds. Lucy has worked with South Dublin County Partnership in Migrant Integration and Community Development since 2005.
Secretary

Michael O'Sullivan

Michael is the Coordinator for Development Education at the Columban Missionaries and part of their Justice and Peace team. He is also part of the Columban Development Committee (Ireland) which works with Columbans in Asia and Latin America. Michael is a founder member and former Chairperson of the Debt and Development Coalition, and also a founder member of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. He was also a member of the National Committee for Development Education from its inception until it was incorporated directly into the work of the Irish Aid programme. He is a member of the MRCI board's Finance and Audit sub-committee.

Bobby Gilmore

Bobby is a founding member of Migrant Rights Centre Ireland and a long-standing board member. He represents MRCI in a range of fora and at events. Ordained in 1963, he worked in the Philippines from 1964-78. He also studied at De La Salle College in Manila. From 1978-92, he was Director of the Irish Emigrant Chaplaincy in Britain. He was a founding member of Cara Housing Association. He chaired the campaign for justice for Birmingham Six. He studied at Birbeck College, Lincoln Institute and Camden College, London. He worked from 1992-99 in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He was a founding member of Village of Hope, Montego Bay, Jamaica. In 1999 he returned to Ireland. He conducted an education program on migration for the Irish Refugee Council.

Anastasia Crickley

Anastasia is the former Head of the Department of Applied Social Studies. She was the Chairperson of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism until October 2008. She is a founder member of the European Network Against Racism. She co-founded Pavee Point (National Travellers Centre). She convenes the Community Sector Sub-Group of the Community Workers Cooperative. Anastasia was Personal Representative of the Chair in Office of the OSCE on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, also focusing on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians and Members of Other Religions from 2004-2008. She is also actively involved with Council of Europe and United Nations initiatives in the fields of Human Rights and Discrimination. In 2010, Anastasia was elected a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Raluca Anucuta

Raluca was the Chair of MRCI from 2014-2019. She currently sits on the Employment Sub-group of the board. Previously she worked with the European Network Against Racism. She was MRCI’s Policy Support Worker supporting work on irregular migration, integration and social inclusion, rights and protection for migrant workers. Before joining MRCI, Raluca was involved in various projects and agencies that deal with migration and racism, including the Immigrant Council of Ireland and the Irish Refugee Council. She holds a degree in law and a MPhil in Ethnic and Racial Studies from Trinity College Dublin. She is currently working as a special needs assistance.

Francis Njúgúna

Francis is the Senior Finance Accountant with Sophia Housing, and has experience working in both for-profit and non-profit finance. He previously worked as a Finance Manager in MRCI. Francis is the Chair of the Finance and Audit Sub-Committee of the Board.

Angelisa Zerpa

Angelisa specialised in Employment Law in Venezuela. She was a Project Coordinator with NCP’s Migrant Access Programme, managing supports to vulnerable and unemployed individuals. She was also employed on their Cultural Support Ireland Programme. She is currently the chairperson of Venezuelan Community in Ireland (VCI). She works in the HR department of TUSLA. She is passionate about migrant rights and a deep understanding of the issues facing low paid migrant workers. She has an LLM in Law.

Deirdre Lowry

Deirdre has a wealth of experience in Human Resources, having worked in this area for over 15 years. Deirdre provides guidance on employment law, policy and procedure and helps to support creating a fair and inclusive work environment. Deirdre is currently employed by Fidelity Investments as a Director of their Regional Leadership Office. Deirdre is passionate about diversity and inclusion and the importance of fair and equitable treatment in the workplace.

Champika (Champa) Wanniarachchi

Champa is a founder member of Justice for the Undocumented. She has been a central figure fighting for the rights of undocumented people and one of the first to be visible in the campaign. She had a strong commitment to securing and advancing the rights of undocumented people and has been part of securing several victories for undocumented people including the introduction of the 2022 Regularisation Scheme. Champa has regularly represented MRCI in the media and at events. She is a proud mother of two and worked in the restaurant sector for over 15 years and in home care since 2017.

Ian McArdle

Ian has worked for over twenty years as Trade Union Official. He joined the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in 2006 as National Officer with responsibility for Organising and Regulatory Affairs. Ian headed up the Organising Department, and in consultation with the Executive Council, developed the CWU Organising and Recruitment Strategic Plan while mentoring the team of Union Organisers. Ian was involved in Coalition to Protect the Lowest Paid along with MRCI and other Trade Unions. Since 2017, he has held responsibility for the eComms sector and in 2021 he was appointed CWU Deputy General Secretary.