Celebrating Our Heritage and Community

At Saoirse Ethnic Hands on Deck, we're all about celebrating our roots, fostering community, and passing down the invaluable wisdom from one generation to the next. Our Mother Tongue Project, sparked by the candid chats among mothers in Direct Provision at the Cork Migrant Centre, is a beautiful testament to our cultural richness and shared experiences.

The Mother Tongue Project grew from the cozy Friday morning coffee mornings at Cork Migrand Centre at Nano Nagle Place, where mothers from different backgrounds came together to share stories and laughter. Inspired by the words of wisdom passed down from their mothers, the idea for the project blossomed naturally.

Crafting Tote Bags

Under the guidance of Saoirse women Vulez and Marsi, alongside project artist Deirdre Breen, the Mother Tongue Tote Bags came to life. Leveraging the sewing skills of the women involved, we merged tradition with innovation in designing these totes. Seamstresses from Direct Provision centres poured their expertise into each bag, crafting them with care. These beautiful pieces were then adorned with custom graphic designs, skillfully screen-printed by Deirdre Breen with the help of a Saoirse group member.

The Mother Tongue Tote Collection isn't just about bags; it's a symbol of resilience, creativity, and cultural pride. From local events to festivals, we proudly showcased and sold these unique creations. Every penny earned went straight back into our organization, supporting migrant women. Now available in our online store, the Mother Tongue Tote Collection continues to spread its message of empowerment and solidarity.


Mother Tongue mural

On July 1st, 2022, as part of the Mother Tongue Project, Saoirse Ethnic Hands on Deck, Cork Migrant Centre, and Nano Nagle Place proudly unveiled the Mother’s Tongue mural on Douglas Street. Crafted by artist Holly Pereira, the mural features a quote from Maya Angelou:

“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.”

This powerful sentiment perfectly encapsulates the essence of the Mother Tongue Project. Located on the front plaza of Nano Nagle Place, the mural stands as a vibrant symbol of the strength and resilience of mothers everywhere.

Mother Tongue in the media

Cork project celebrates mothers’ sayings from all over the world
in Echo Live, July 2022

Migrant Mothers Mural Unveiled 
in Cork Independent, July 2022

Story behind two new murals in Cork neighbourhoods 
in Yay Cork, May 2022