Minister of State for Community Development, Integration and Charities, Joe O’Brien, has officially launched Bray Area Partnership’s Ukrainian Community Centre at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Bray.
Minister O’Brien was welcomed with the traditional Ukrainian Korovai bread and a salt welcoming ceremony by members of the Ukrainian community.
Bray Area Partnership works closely with local organisations in Bray and North Wicklow to provide a space that is warm and welcoming, which provides information and support, across a wide range of social, educational and recreational group activities operating in this centre every week.
Speaking in Bray, Minister O’Brien said, “I am delighted to be invited here today to mark this momentous occasion — the launch of this Ukrainian Community Centre and the joyous celebration of its first year, alongside an exhibition showcasing the rich and vibrant culture of Ukraine.”
“As you reflect on the past year, you can take pride in the countless moments of joy, laughter, and cultural exchanges that have taken place within these walls, from a wide range of social, educational and recreational group activities operating in this centre every week.”
Minister O’Brien joined in the celebrations, finishing the ‘From Home to Home’ jigsaw and putting the last piece in place. This artwork was developed in 2023 by the Ukrainian community living in the Bray & North Wicklow area, supported by Bray Area Partnership. The jigsaw represents the experiences of Ukrainian children from different regions of Ukraine during their last year in Ireland.
The Minister concluded, “I am really impressed by this symbolic ‘From Home to Home’ jigsaw. We have some extremely talented artists among us. The last piece of the jigsaw puzzle fittingly represents the final step in your journey; your journey toward unity and inclusiveness. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you who has contributed to the success of the Ukrainian Community Centre in Bray. I would also like to thank the community of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church for providing their hall to accommodate the Ukrainian Community.”