Category Archives: Latest Posts

07 Jul

ATD youth group launched ‘Ireland, I Have A Dream’ inspired by Martin Luther King

The ATD “Unity in the Community Youth Group” launched the ‘Ireland, I Have A Dream’ on Friday 6th July. The event hosted by the Unity in the Community Youth Group included games, spoken word, live music and speeches.

The book was prepared and printed with funding from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund.

The ‘Ireland, I Have a Dream’ project run from January to July 2018 has provided a new space for young people in Ireland and beyond, under 25, to find their voice as leaders and to explore the inequalities of poverty in the context of their own lives by writing speeches, poems, raps, and spoken word in the spirit of the famous Martin Luther King ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.

The book chronicles the story of the youth group, the project itself, the youth groups we visited, workshops, and partners. The core of this publication is a collection of over 30 ‘Dreams’ written by young people.

From February to May 2018, the UC Youth Group managed to host eight workshops, as opposed to the planned five, which made a huge difference to the young people involved.

With the Youth Group, ATD friends and volunteers are thrilled to be able to celebrate the publication with all the young people who contributed to it along with their proud families. It’s a great achievement for all of them!

Hard copies are available from the ATD offices, 26 Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1! Small donation welcome! contact: info[at]

Download the free pdf here!

ATD Ireland received €5,000 from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund in October 2017 and launched their project in January.

Watch the RTE social media News coverage of the project:

For more information on the Unity in the Community Youth Group visit


27 Jun

Our Voice at the National Economic Dialogue

The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar will open the National Economic Dialogue which takes place in Dublin Castle on the 27th and 28th June 2018. It will also be addressed by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe.

The dialogue is an annual opportunity to consider how to make best use of the available resources ahead of Budget 2019. It is not intended to produce specific budget proposals or recommendations, however it could help those preparing their own pre-budget submissions.

Representatives of community, voluntary and environmental groups as well as business groups, unions, and research institutes will be attending.

ATD Ireland will be represented by the Community Platform and the Community and Voluntary Pillar delegates.

The position paper of the the Community and Voluntary Pillar can be downloaded here!

In the coming weeks, ATD Ireland will campaign to make sure Budget 2019 includes:

– A robust funding for the new National Action Plan For Social Inclusion 2018-2021,

– The need for ressources to put in place an national implementation plan of the European Pillar of Social Rights (See also the EU 27 June meeting in Sofia).

– To strengthen the C & V Pillar recommendation : “Ensure protection of the vulnerable, the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living and promotion of equality are at the core of all decisions made. To this end all relevant policies and strategies should be subjected to a transparent social impact assessment at design and planning stage”, ATD invites the Governement to make sure equality assessesments can cover all situations of vulnerability. We call on the Governement to immediatly include the socio-economic status as a recognnised ground of discrimination in Irish Equality legislation,

– To improve social dialogue, Governement should set aside dedicated funding for a few specifice pilot projects with the aim of developing long-term participatory processes in which people with experience of long-term social exclusion and their organisations could contribute to the assessment and monitoring of areas of policy. In 2019, area of experimentation could be for instance, the SDG Stakeholder Forum, a monitoring body of the new Natiional Action Plan for Social Inclusion or a monitoring body of the implementation of the Slainte Care Reform.

17 Jun

Be the Nelson Mandela Legacy! Make Poverty History! Be the Generation!

Join ATD Volunteers at the Famine Statues to ‘Be the Legacy’ on the day the world will mark the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

This day will be a very special one as it is the 100th birthday of Nelson Mandela and the world will be marking it in a ”loud” way. It is also the Mandela Day of the year of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights #UDHR70!

Following the call of the South African Nelson Mandela Foundation and its #ActionsAgainstPoverty campaign, ATD Ireland invites you to mark the day on Custom House Quay inspired by the ‘Make Poverty History’ speech by Mandela in Trafalgar Square in 2005.

The momentum of the day from 5.30pm to 6.30pm will be a symbolic ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ from the Famine Statues to the Human Rights and Poverty Stone on Custom House Quay.

The participants will be invited to walk together the 40 meters from the Statues to the Stone while joining some songs and listening to some readings from Nelson Mandela’s book ‘A Long Walk to Freedom”. Some guest speakers will be invited to speak at the start and at the end of the march (Guests invited: the 1984 Dunnes Stores’ Strikers, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Emily Logan…). The final moment of the event will be the broadcasting of the Mandela ‘Make Poverty History’ speech.

Also on the day:

From 11pm to 7pm :
displays of ‘Make Poverty History’ quotes on Liffey railings of Custom House Quay

From 12pm to 5pm:
two free workshops will be facilitated under two temporary pop-up shelters/gazebos equipped with tables and chairs and installed on the quay close to the Human Rights and Poverty Stone :

  • – workshop A: discover the Mandela ‘Make Poverty History’ Legacy and collection of messages “From Dublin to Mandela”
  • – workshop B: ”Your Rights Are Written in Stone” workshop to raise awareness about the End Poverty Message of the location with the Famine Statues and the Human Rights and Poverty Stone.

The event is supported by a small North East Inner City grant from the Trade Union FORSA.

Regular updates about the event on Custom House Quay on the Facebook Event Page!

This event is part of the ATD Ireland 2018 #LivingTheLegacy project marking the centenary of the birth of Mandela, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, the 30th anniversary of the death of Joseph Wresinski and the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declarartion of Human Rights.

17 Jun

The “I Have A Dream” campaign will celebrate the dreams of young people on 6th July 2018!

The “I Have A Dream” campaign will end with a final Spoken Words Party in Mountjoy Square Park on 6th July 2018 from 6pm to 8pm!

The legacy of Martin Luther King was the inspiration for the ATD Dublin youth group who officially kicked off their creative writing campaign Ireland, I Have a Dream on #MLKDay in January 2018.

The Party in Mountjoy Square park is the final event of the project and is aimed at young people who took part in the creative writing project for the past few months. They will be invited to perform their speeches, get to know other participants and give voice to their dreams in person. The event is free and open to the local community as well.

During the event, we will also launch the publication of speeches from the participants.
The evening will be an event full of music and inspiration with our project ambassador Dublin GAA Footballer Jonny Cooper in attendance along with some other special guests (including the guests of one of the sponsor of the project Coca Cola Ireland (for example PJ Gallagher).

Get updates about the event via the Facebook event page!


Over the past 6 months, the Unity in the Community youth group encouraged young people to write about the dreams they have to stop persistent poverty in Ireland through the context of their own story. The movement began on the 13th February with a booked out creative writing workshop administered by Fighting Words, which provides free tutoring and mentoring in creative writing and related arts.

For all information about the project visit

Although most famous for his work in civil rights, Martin Luther King was also an anti-poverty activist. On the 50th year of the anniversary of his death (this year on the 4th April 2018), the youth group explored the legacy of Martin Luther King and were inspired by his infamous ‘I, Have a Dream speech’.

The group decided to start this campaign in which they could use their creative mind and voice to connect ‘I Have A Dream’ to their own lives. Over a few months, the ATD Youth Group has attempted to help young people to find strength in sharing their experiences, finding their singular and unified voices. The campaign was designed to provide a new space in Ireland for young people between the ages of 16-25 with the aim of empowering participants and inspiring others to keep fighting to stop poverty, find their voice as leaders and to explore the inequalities of poverty in the context of their own lives.

The campaign was supported by Dublin Footballer Jonny Cooper, who joined the project as an ambassador. Cooper noted “Having met this group I was struck with their level of self-awareness, empathy and care to provide better future opportunities for young people. I am delighted to be involved with a determined group of people who are driven to be trail blazers and create change”.

The project is co-funded by the Irish Coca-Cola Thank You Fund and the Foundation ATD in Paris.


13 Jun

ATD Ireland launched a first “Leave No One Behind” essay!

“Sure, it’s their own fault!” Our Misconceptions of Poverty and the Poor is the first paper in a series of ‘Leave No One Behind essays’.

The ‘Leave No One Behind essays’ will be a series of short publications prepared by volunteers and friends of All Together in Dignity in order to trigger and inspire debates and actions on ways to “reach the further behind first”, the key challenge of the 2030 Agenda promise to “Leave No One Behind”.

“Sure, it’s their own fault!” Our Misconceptions of Poverty and the Poor focuses on some of the most commonly held myths about poverty and the poor, and provides the information we need to push back against them.

By choosing to believe “comfortable myths” about poverty and the poor, we negate the culpability of our society and economic system; we attribute the cause of destitution to individual failings. The misconceptions lead to prejudices; and prejudices lead to both conscious and unconscious discrimination. Unfortunately, we are fully equipped to leave people behind.

In Ireland, as in all other countries around the world, we are surrounded by poverty myths. These are misconceptions about poverty and people living in it, which prevent real progress in the fight to end poverty and the building of a genuine inclusive society. Whether it is that people on benefits don’t want to work; or that poverty is one’s own fault – many of our ideas about poverty fly in the face of countless studies and reports done on the subject.

By shining a light on our poverty myths and misconceptions, we may prepare ourselves to meet the 2030 promise: to be equipped to Leave No One Behind

30 Apr

We have a plan to leave no one behind!

On the 26th April 2018, Minister Denis Naughten launched The Sustainable Development Goals: National Implementation Plan 2018-2020, which sets out how the Irish Government will implement the SDGs in Ireland and support countries around the world to do the same. The National Implementation Plan provides for a whole-of-government response to the SDGs and addresses the need to raise public awareness of, and engagement with, the SDGs.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the global community’s response to the urgent economic, social and environmental problems facing the world today, from climate change to global poverty and inequality.

The 17 SDGs set out a bold vision for achieving a more sustainable world by the year 2030. Ireland has a particular interest in the SDGs, as our former Ambassador to the UN, Mr David Donoghue, acted as co-facilitator to the intergovernmental negotiations through which the Goals were agreed.

The Plan identifies four strategic priorities to guide implementation:

  • Awareness: raise public awareness of the SDGs;
  • Participation: provide stakeholders opportunities to engage and contribute to follow-up and review processes, and further develop national implementation of the Goals;
  • Support: encourage and support efforts of communities and organisations to contribute towards meeting the SDGs, and foster public participation; and
  • Policy alignment: develop alignment of national policy with the SDGs and identify opportunities for policy coherence.


No One Left Behind in this new Irish National Plan for Sustainable Development?

All Together in Dignity Ireland welcomed the launch of this Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020 by the Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment Naughten. It is particularly encouraging to see a foreword from the Taoiseach in the document. We value his commitment to lead Ireland in our pursuit of the targets and ideals of the Sustainable Development Goals and his recognition of the importance of the promise to Leave No One Behind in the process.

The Taoiseach writes Having proudly facilitated the international negotiations leading to the Goals, this National Implementation Plan represents a further important step in Ireland’s efforts to honour the vision underpinning the Goals, and to ensure no one is left behind 

Indeed the Plan’s commitment to the Leave No One Behind Promise on top of working towards achieving the 17 Goals of Agenda 2030 is quite happily a recurring theme. The promise is highlighted not only by an Taoiseach, but crucially in the Vision Statement as well as the section outlining Ireland’s National Approach to reaching the targets of the 17 Goals.

ATD looks forward to seeing action on public engagement and awareness of the Goals and the Promise. At grassroots level, here in ATD Ireland we are spreading awareness of the Leave No One Behind Promise with our Leave No One Behind Conversations campaign which consists of thought-provoking workshops imploring people to examine the necessity for a Leave No One Behind Promise as well as the challenges which are inevitable in delivering on such a transformative statement.

The creation of a National Stakeholder Forum is a critical next step in the implementation of the Irish Plan.  ATD believes that it is crucial that of the Forum delegates representing communities, delegates from the most marginalised communities be invited and their participation supported, thus ensuring that we fulfill the commitment to “Reach the furthest behind first” and listen to the needs of and interests of those who are too often silenced or voiceless. The Agenda 2030 has to deliver for them.

ATD Ireland is member of the Coalition 2030:

15 Apr

Join the ‘Leave No One Behind’ Conversations!

For too long, empty pledges and fine words have died in our mouths –
now is the time to turn promises into action for this generation.”

Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, 2016

The Agenda 2030, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the ‘Leave No One Behind’ promise provide the tools to achieve dignity and equality for every human being on this planet by 2030. Commitment and robust implementation of this Agenda is needed, however, to ensure that the plan is achieved for all people, in particular the most vulnerable.

Ireland has fully committed to this global agenda, but what does this mean in practice?

This is the question which was discussed on Tuesday 17th April with the partners of the Make Ireland Sustainable for All at the first national conference on the Sustainable Development Goals, Human Development and Inequalities.  For more information and the agenda:

At the conference, David Donoghue, co-facilitator in 2015 of the historic UN agreement on the Agenda 2030, launched the ATD Ireland project: the “Leave No One Behind” Conversations.

Have Your Say, Organise a Workshop!
ATD wants to involve citizens from all walks of life (children, youths, adults – including people with experience of poverty and marginalisation) to take part in conversations and help in the design of “Leave No One Behind: Walking the Talk”, a handbook presenting ways to create inclusive communities. Help us to walk the talk!

Contact us:

The questions we want to discuss:
1. What does the Leave No One Behind Promise mean to you?
2. How convinced are you? Do you think it’s possible? What challenges do you envision
in keeping the Promise?
3. What steps can we take in our own lives and in our own communities?

The calendar of the project:
17 April: launch of the project
May-August: 10 debates will be organised in the country
September: design of the “Leave No One Behind: Walking the Talk Handbook”
16 October: launch of the Handbook at IHREC as the world marks the #ZeroHunger and #EndPoverty Days.

The project is co-funded by Concern and the ATD Foundation, Paris.


Download the leaflet about the project here!
Download the project’s banner here!

12 Apr

Divinity With Skin On

All of the stories in “Divinity With Skin On” were written by ordinary people who have a story to tell and this book enables them to do so.

“This is something that really inspired me and got me thinking. How each person we meet has a library inside of them, but too often we shy away from sharing it with anyone else. ”

For the past 20 years, Martin Byrne, volunteer & member of the Board of ATD Ireland has been collecting North Wall stories and publishing them once a year. These stories are coming from a range of people and the book encourages people to dig deep and write down those stories that have been hidden away for so long.

We are so proud of the commitments our friends and volunteers!

Discover pictures from the book launch on 10th April 2018 and download the book here!

29 Mar

In the Name of Love: April 4, a shot rings out in the Memphis sky

ATD Ireland and the Irish End Poverty Day Committee
invite you to gather at the Famine Statues
and the Human Rights and Poverty Stone on

Wednesday the 4th April 2018 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm

to commemorate the 50th anniversary
of the assassination of Martin Luther King

“Pride – In the Name of Love” is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the second track on the band’s 1984 album: The Unforgettable Fire. It was released as the album’s lead single in September 1984. Written about Martin Luther King Jr., the song received mixed critical reviews at the time, but it was a major commercial success for the band and has since become one of the band’s most popular songs.

This song will be one of the song which will be on the songs list of the MLK 50 Dublin commemoration on Wednesday April 4th 2018, marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King.

On 4th April 1968 at 6.01pm Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in Memphis, USA at a time he was supporting the strike of the Memphis Sanitation Workers for a decent wage and preparing the momentum of the “poor peoples campaing”, a huge non-violent march on Washington DC and the Capitol.
The dreamer was shot dead but his dream of social justice is alive.

ATD Ireland and the Irish End Poverty Day Committee invite you to gather at the Famine Statues and the Human Rights and Poverty Stone on Wednesday the 4th April 2018 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. King and to commit together to make the dream come true.

The gathering will include speeches, music and songs, creative common gesture, a moment of silence and bells of Dublin tolling together at 6.01pm.

Guest speakers: Peter McVerry, Lord Mayor of Dublin and more (TBC)

Before the 4th April 2018, visit and share with us your “I Have A Dream” speech!


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr will forever hold a place in the hearts of millions of people around the world. The immediate need for freedom from racism, discrimination and flat out brutality toward African Americans will forever be King’s message.However, Dr. King also used his platform to shed light on global poverty.

He expressed the need for poverty to be abolished and the need for nations to come together to combat this growing problem.

“A second evil which plagues the modern world is that of poverty. Like a monstrous octopus, it projects it’s nagging, prehensile tentacles in lands and villages all over the world. Almost two thirds of the peoples of the world go to bed hungry at night. They are undernourished, ill-housed, and shabbily clad. Many of them have no houses or beds to sleep in. Their only beds are the sidewalks of the cities and the dusty roads of the villages. Most of these poverty-stricken children of God have never seen a physician or a dentist.” (…) “So it is obvious that if a man is to redeem his spiritual and moral ‘lag,’ he must go all out to bridge the social and economic gulf between the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s’ of the world. Poverty is one of the most urgent items on the agenda of modern life.” (…) “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it. The time has come for an all-out world war against poverty. (…) The rich nations must use their vast resources of wealth to develop the underdeveloped, school the unschooled, and feed the unfed. Ultimately a great nation is a compassionate nation. No individual or nation can be great if it does not have a concern for ‘the least of these.’”

Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize address in 1964

“We are in an era in which the issue of human rights is the central question confronting all nations. In this complex struggle an obvious but little appreciated fact has gained attention-the large majority of the human race is non-white-yet it is that large majority which lives in hideous poverty. While millions enjoy an unexampled opulence in developed nations, ten thousand people die of hunger each and every day of the year in the south of the world”

“Let My People Go” speech. Human Rights Day December 10, 1965

“I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective – the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed matter: the guaranteed income.” (…) “The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.”

“Where do we go from Here: Chaos or Community” written in 1967

Below: an intensely moving and definitive one-hour documentary by Trevor McDonald! He traveled America to cover a story he has always wanted to explore: the life of the Civil Rights icon, Martin Luther King.Starting with the monumental ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech in Washington, this films sees McDonald discover how King became a Civil Rights leader almost by accident.

Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s death in April 1968, McDonald interviews King’s key allies veteran singer Harry Belafonte, Congressman John Lewisand Ambassador Andrew Young. He tracks down rarely interviewed women who helped King behind the scenes such as his assistant Willie Pearl Mackey King – speaking for the first time on British television – who typed up the address that became known as the ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.