Doras Luimní is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working to promote and protect human rights. We provide a free and confidential advice and legal information service on a range of immigration-related issues including asylum applications; Direct Provision; Family Reunification; employment rights and reporting racism.
Each year, over 1,200 migrants access our service. We campaign at local, national and international level for change in policy and legislation relating to Protection & Direct Provision, Anti-Trafficking and Anti-Racism. Our vision for Ireland is a society where equality and respect for the human rights of migrants are social norms. Our mission is to promote and uphold the human rights and well-being of migrants through personal advocacy, integration development and collaborative advocacy campaigns at the local and national level. Doras Luimní is registered as a company and has charitable status.
We are very grateful for the financial assistance from individual supporters and organisations including Atlantic Philanthropies; Sisters of Mercy; Redemptorists; Health Service Executive; Community Foundation for Ireland; and the Dormant Account Funds.
Doras Luimní was founded by a small group of dedicated volunteers in the year 2000, in response to the establishment of the ‘Direct Provision’ system by the Irish government, which dispersed asylum seekers to accommodation centres in Limerick and around the country. The name Doras was chosen to symbolise an open door welcoming new communities to Limerick and as an acronym for Development Organisation for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.
Initially, the organisation supported asylum seekers by providing English language classes and outreach visits to the centre’s – these activities remain an important part of our work.
We have grown rapidly over the years and now employ a team of full-time and part-time staff members, supported by our dedicated volunteers – some of whom have been with Doras Luimní since the very beginning. In early 2015, Doras opened a second office in Portlaoise to implement a refugee resettlement project, assisting newly arrived Syrian refugees. Our Portlaoise office aims to ensure the full and effective integration of the Syrian families into community life in Portlaoise.
Director: Leonie Kerins
Since joining Doras in April 2007, Leonie Kerins has worked in a managerial role initially with responsibility for the Advice and Information Centre and most recently as CEO. A fluent French speaker who emigrated to France in 1992, Leonie spent over a decade working for the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO), as part of a team guiding African governments through the World Heritage application process. During her time at UNESCO, Leonie was routinely seconded to the Secretariat of the Executive Board, UNESCO’s decision-making body. Leonie has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences from University College Cork and a Master of Science in Population and Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Finance Officer: Lilian O’Dwyer
Lilian O’Dwyer joined Doras Luimní as Finance Officer in 2007. As Financial Officer she is responsible for the organisations daily financial operations, payroll and budgetary oversight. Lilian’s experience encompasses all aspects of financial administration and management in both the commercial and non-profit sectors.
Legal Officer: Fiona McCaul
Fiona McCaul first joined Doras Luimni in August 2013 on a 9 month internship with the legal service. She continued working with the legal service on a voluntary basis and was appointed Legal Officer in June 2015. She holds a B.A (Hons) in European Community Studies and a first class Postgraduate Honours Degree in Irish Law (LL.b) from the National University of Ireland, Galway. Fiona also holds a Diploma in Community Development from NUIG and is an advocate of achieving social change through redistribution in order to eliminate poverty and social exclusion. Fiona is also passionate about recognising diversity through promoting the full participation of minorities, to ensure an equal and accessible society. Fiona provides one-to-one legal advice and information on a range of immigration related issues.
Advice & Information Officer: Teresa O’Neill
Teresa O’Neill has worked in Doras since the establishment of the organisation. As a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order, Teresa spent several decades working as an educator abroad and has vast experience in the community and voluntary sector. In her role as Caseworker with Doras, Teresa provides direct support to clients and engages in outreach activities. Teresa is also heavily involved with the delivery of English language classes.
Advice & Information Intern: Consolata Okonkwo
Consolata Nneka Okonkwo holds qualifications in Business Studies and Banking and Finance. She has also studied event management, Business with Information Systems, ECDL, SAGE Accounting and Payroll, and has completed a course on Community Work in a Changing Ireland. Consolata worked with PAUL Partnership as a Receptionist/Administrator from 2007 to 2009. She came to Doras Luimní as a Receptionist Administrator and presently she is the Operations Assistant. Consolata is bilingual in Igbo and English.
Education Coordinator: Helen O’Grady
Helen has worked for Doras Luimní since 2008. A recipient of Vodafone Awards in 2008, Helen initially joined Doras as Education and Employment Coordinator. Helen has a particular interest in integration through education and she is now responsible for the implementation of Doras projects funded by Pobal through the European Refugee Fund. Prior to joining Doras, Helen worked in the field of development education where she became involved with training and supporting asylum seekers and refugees. She was also involved in a European Gruntvig partnership with five countries that exchanged learning on mentoring practices for newly arrived migrants. Helen has a Degree in Social Studies in Social Care and a Masters in Contemporary Migration and Diaspora Studies.
Community Support Worker: Raymond Muwaniri
Raymond is originally from Zimbabwe and has been living in Ireland for over 16 years. He obtained a BA Honours Degree in Sustainable Development from Limerick Institute of Technology and has an MA Degree in International Relations from University College of Cork. He also has a Global Issues Certificate from the Dublin City University. Raymond has experience of working with different community groups across Ireland, South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. He is a firm believer in equality and is an advocate for human rights and personal development.
Communications & Campaigns Officer / Support & Outreach Officer: Aideen Roche
Aideen joined Doras Luimni in January 2014. She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law, a higher Diploma in Project Management and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology, focusing her academic studies on migrant integration, the rights of asylum seekers, and anti-discrimination issues. Aideen has been working in the human rights sector and with migrant and minority groups for the past 10 years, in Ireland and internationally.
Advice & Information Officer: Ella Noonan
Ella Noonan is a member of the Sisters of Mercy who has a background in teaching and vast experience of communityand NGO development work. She has been a Caseworker with Doras Luimní since 2005. In 2006 she completed the one-year ‘College Certificate Course for People working with Asylum Seekers and Refugees’ at Mary Immaculate College of Education, Limerick. Ella coordinates the Doras Luimní Women’s Development Group – she meets weekly with a group of women who are asylum seekers, refugees and migrants, facilitating workshops to assist participants’ integration into Irish culture and society. Ella is bilingual in English and Portuguese.
Advice & Information Officer: Julianne Ryan
Julianne Ryan has worked for Doras Luimní Advice and Information Centre since 2009. She has completed the ‘College Certificate on the Social Inclusion of Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants’ provided by MaryImmaculateCollege and Paul Partnership. As a Caseworker, Julianne provides information and advice to migrants on their rights and entitlements and supports them in resolving immigration related issues.
Resettlement Officer: Ahmed Hassan Mohamed
Ahmed first joined Doras on a student placement supporting the Advice and Support team, as part of the LIT BA in Social Care programme. Ahmed has worked in areas related to youth, education, environment, peace building, gender and leadership for the last 4 years, including support & outreach roles with Paul Partnership and Kerry Action for Development Education. Ahmed has also worked with the Global Peace Foundation Ireland for the last 3 years, focusing on engaging youth and students within Limerick in environmental sustainability, peace and education related projects.
Advice & Legal Information Officer: Rachael Bermingham
Rachael started working with Doras in September 2015 as the Advice and Information Intern with the legal service. She has a B.A. in Political Science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in New York as well as an M.A. in Sociology of Development and Globalisation from University College Cork. She has worked in the political and community development fields in both the U.S. and Australia. While living in Western Australia she worked as an Electorate/Research officer, working to help end the offshore detention of asylum seekers and promoting LGBTI rights. In New York she worked to improve community access to nutrition education and government assistance programs for low income families. She has a passion for human rights and equality.
Anti-Trafficking & Outreach Officer: Kevin Landers
Kevin joined Doras as Anti-Trafficking and Outreach Officer in April 2017, having previously worked with Victims of Human Trafficking in Liverpool. He also has experience of working with people with intellectual disability in both the UK and Ireland. Kevin obtained a BA Honours Degree in Social Studies in Social Care from Waterford Institute of Technology and an MA Degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Liverpool, with his dissertation examining Direct Provision. Kevin has volunteering experience working with both homeless people and asylum seekers in the UK. He has previously spent time volunteering and teaching English in Aida refugee camp, in the West Bank. Kevin is passionate about human rights and social justice.