At an event this week in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, ticket holders will hear how embracing diversity has been good for the town.

Tickets have all been booked for this Friday’s free seminar in Ballyhaunis, Embracing Diversity.

Changing Ireland will be covering the event, which promises to be an antidote to the populism and greed of Trump and others. It will show how a small town in the west of Ireland more than doubled in population with relative ease.

While the event is bookended by government representatives – Minister of State David Stanton opens proceedings, while Minister Michael Ring will close the seminar – the day’s discussions will be led by people from the community: business leaders, migrants, civil society groups and academics.

The event aims “to examine and chart what has been achieved in the area of intercultural integration in a small town, and develop recommendations for mapping an integrated future for the town and [for] towns of similar composition”.

Speakers include Seán Óg Ó hAilpín, who will tell of his personal experiences as a Fijian Irish man, hurler and Gaelic footballer.

Afterwards, a panel discussion will be led by Maria McHale of South West Mayo Development Company.

This event indicates that, despite taking the unpopular approach of moving refugee applicants without consultation into small rural towns, the government has a desire to understand how best to support integration.

The seminar takes place at the end of Social Inclusion Awareness Week, taking place from 14-20 October, and the full programme is available via Mayo Public Participation Network.

Another interesting event is being held in Dublin on the same date: an awards night to showcase work at community level in Ireland that is done in pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.