The people of Ballaghaderreen are building a “welcome wall” in advance of the arrival of over 80 Syrian refugees to the Co Roscommon town early next month.
They hope the wall will serve as a salve to the anti-immigrant sentiment associated with US president Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall between along his country’s border with Mexico.
The five-panel art installation will be on display in a local supermarket in the town on Saturday, when hundreds of locals are expected to drop in and write welcome messages for the Syrian families.
Interpreters will be available at Duffy’s Supervalu shop throughout the day, to translate the messages into Arabic for those wishing to do so.
The wall, which was designed by local artist Maria Fleming, will then be moved to the foyer of the emergency reception and orientation centre at the former Abbeyfield hotel, which is expected to be …