SECA’s Newsletter Launch

Deputy First Minister Martin Mc Guinness launches SECA’s Newsletter.

Filed under: News - Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012 @ 11:19 am

Diwali Festival

Diwali Festival was celebrated with an evening of Indian food, music, dance and a fashion show at St Pats Hall, Strabane.

SECA for the first time had a fashion show of Indian Costumes, 40 models a mix of Indians and the local Strabane Community took part.

Filed under: Events,News - Posted on Tuesday, May 17th, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

Knockavoe Pupils Learn of Indian Culture


Bobby Rao prepares some Indian food for Year eight and nine pupils at Knockavoe School and Resource Centre, Strabane, with Sonya McGill, Jennifer Maybin, Louise Crawford and Wendy Scullion, RC2034 

As part of learning about local and global citizenship, Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils of Knockavoe School are learning about community comunity celebrations. Bobby Rao, development officer of SECA, has been giving multi-sensory lessons to Knockavoe pupils about Diwali and Indian culture. Pupils have listened to Indian music, tasted Indian food and learned some Indian dancing.

“It is very important, as part of the revised curriculum, that our pupils learn to work and think of others in our community. Knockavoe pupils have enjoyed the interactive way Bobby has done this,” said Julie Murphy, acting principal.

Filed under: News - Posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

SECA wins Best Float @ St Patrick's Day Parade 2011

Strabane Ethnic Community Association won The Best Float at St Patricks Day Parade in Strabane 2011.

SECA Youth along with local community children took part in the Parade, the children who took part were dresses in Indian costumes and provided a display of Bollywood Dance, taught by SECA Chairperson Daljeet Guram.

The Trophy was presented by Fr. Boland who was one of the judges. 


Pictured below are members of SECA on their own float.


Filed under: News - Posted on Monday, December 21st, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

SECA team up with Strabane Fire and Rescue

Strabane’s Fire and Rescue community team recently visited up to 300 homes in Strabane and the Glebe, in a bid to raise awareness about fire hazards in the home. Local officers worked closely with SECA as they visited occupants from the community’s ethnic minorities, advising them on potential fire hazards and safety in the home. A number of fire alarms were also fitted free of charge during the one-day initiative. While the scheme has been operational for two years, there is still very little awareness of it in the region. The recent effort by local fire safety officers follows a fire in a house occupied by members of the local ethnic community over a month ago – an incident which Richard Mortimore, Strabane’s crew commander, stressed could have been easily avoided with a fire alarm.

file0019web.jpgVice-chairperson Damien Preiable with Richard Mortimore and the fire safety team

Describing the initative as ‘very successful’, chairman of SECA, Bobby Rao, said it also generated interest among local residents. “There were a few local people there who didn’t know about the hazards and safety and they were asking about it”, he said. “It was a great success.” Mr Mortimore added: “It was a very, very successful event. We were recieved with open arms by the community and we got good feedback from the community. A lot of other people asked us about it and we have taken names and addresses which will be followed up.”

Mr Mortimore has called for more awareness of the potentially life-saving visits, which are free of charge to the public. Anyone interested in this service can call the Home Fire Safety Unit on 92600477 to make an appointment.

Filed under: News - Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

SECA presents Interfaith Calendar to Strabane Council Chairman

Chairman Jarlath McNulty has united with SECA to support the 2009 Interfaith Calendar. The calendar represents fourteen religious communities; American Indian, Anglican, Bahai, Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Mormonism, Orthodox Christianity, Protestantism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism.


Diya Guram and other SECA members presenting Jarlath McNulty with an Interfaith Calendar.

Speaking after being presented with the calendar by Bobby Rao, Mr McNulty said:
This calendar is a valuable tool to raise awareness of the different religious communities evident in today’s multicultural society. It is extremely informative and has the potential to promote mutual respect among cultural, racial and religious communities. I trust that this calendar is widely distributed and I do hope that it instills in all readers, an appreciation of the diversity within our society and an acknowledgement that this diversity can be society’s greatest strength.”

Filed under: News - Posted on Friday, December 18th, 2009 @ 12:50 pm

Phil Eagleston – Interview

  • What were your expectations of india before you went there?

I went out with an open mind despite what I seen was there it was very warm and also very crowded, especially in chennai. Very different to what we are used to ireland. Everyone could communicate in english so this made things easier.

  • How was your experience in Dennis Lillie’s MRF Fast Bowler Academy?

It was a dream come true working with a legent like Dennis Lillie, and training with all the other International Cricketeres from different countries. It ws tough going from 6.30am till 6.00pm. I improved a lot of my skills in bowling while there and also made a lot of friends who bentover backwards to make my stay comfortable and the food was excellent, I enjoyed greatly the Indian hospitality.

  • How did SECA help with your trip?

Without SECA this dream of mine would not have happened. Irish national coach Phil Simmpns got in contct with Bobby Rao and told him that the Cricket Ireland did not have the funds to send me out to India. I was pleasantly surprised to learn of Bobby’s contacts in India. With in three days he arranged the funding for the Visa, myPlane tickets, and my accommodation in Chennai. After I came back from India I was picked to play my first international for Ireland. I would like to thank SECA for their determined support and for making my dream come true.

Filed under: News - Posted on Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

Polish Night in Strabane


Kieran McGuire, SDC Chairman, sampling Polish food on offer during SECA’s Polish night in St Pat’s Hall, with Bobby Rao, Damien and secretary Agnieszka.


Bartosz Thiede and Piotr Wisniewski playing piano and guitar repecitively.


A group of Polish children getting their faces painted by Rosie during the Polish night at St Pat’s hall, organised by SECA.

The event was organised by Agnieszka Sakowska, and she started the night off with a welcome message to those attending. Food was prepared by Katazyna Trecka & Agnieszka Sikorq, very unusual for the locals but was well-recieved. Locals were introduced to some new Polish words, such as ‘Sniadanie’, ‘Obiad’ & ‘Kolacja’ meaning breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively.

The food and performers were well-recieved and a good time was had by all who attended this SECA event.

Filed under: News - Posted on Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 @ 1:54 pm

Indian Colour Extravaganza

Fashionistas in Strabane are already looking forward to next years Diwali festival.

SECA held a three day Diwali Festival with children from the local schools uniting with SECA’s Indian Community to celebrate The Festival of Lights.

The Alley Theatre and Fountain Street Community Association were the venues for two of the Days, four local schools took part and were given an insight into Diwali, the schools were St. Anne’s PS, Sion Mills PS, Cloughour PS and the Gaelscoil

Organised as part of the local Diwali celebrations this year SECA arranged an Indian Themed fashion show, around forty models took part not all the models were Indian, some were Polish, from local community grouos and local school children.

The large crowd present, which included members of Strabane’s growing multicultural community, members of local community groups and the Council Chairman enjoyed an evening of ecletic live entertainment and Indian cuisine, courtesy of Masala restaurant.

diwali_natasha_01.jpg     diwali_chandini_01.jpg

Chandini Guram and Natasha Sharma performing Traditional Indian and Bollywood dancing.

Compere for the evening, Vijay Elangovan, explained the festival and its global significance. Dr Narenda Babu Koyyalamudi, Chairman of SECA, told those gathered, “I’d like to welcome everyone to our small party here. Tonight we celebrate the multicultural society that we have become. I’d like to thank all who were involved in organising tonight’s event and Strabane Council, who have always been supportive of all projects like this,” he said.

Council Chairman, Jarlath McNulty, added, “This evening aims to promote racial harmony and good relations between local residents and those from other countries. By bringing everyone together we are highlighting the benefits of cultural diversity.

The Indian community have long been resident here and we are delighted to be invited to share this festival with them. Diwali is the most important event in their year and occassions like this greatly help us understand each other’s cultures.”

Dr Narenda Babu Koyyalamudi of SECA and SDC Chairman Jarlath McNulty lighting candles together at the festival.

Both he and Dr Koyyalamudi lit the traditional Diwali lamp. The evening’s entertainment included special performances from the Pop Tap Dance Academy, Bollywood dancer Natasha Sharma and Chandini Guram, who performed a traditional Indian dance. The Artsekta Fusion Band rounded off the night with their unique blend of world music.

diwali_tapdance_01.jpg     diwali_fusion_01.jpg

Michael Lafferty, Public Relations Officer for SECA, heralded the evening a great success: “It has been one of the most successful events of our calendar year, well supported by the community groups and our members. I would like to thank the Council, our members, all the performers, the staff of St Patrick’s Hall and the Department of Social Development for their support.

Filed under: News - Posted on Tuesday, December 30th, 2008 @ 12:38 pm

Concerned About Suicide

On the 9th April Strabane Ethnic Community Association organised an evening to raise awareness about the issues surrounding suicide at Alley Theatre. Chairman of SECA Dr. Nari Babu welcomed every one. It was well attended with a mixture of ethnic and local people and few families who lost their loved ones, which was very informative and heart moving. The three speakers were excellent.
  SECA representatives with guests.
Barry Mc Gale of Western Health & Social Trust said when someone dies by suicide many people are affected such as families’ friends and work colleagues.
It is important to communicate and address with the concerned person or people and never take things lightly. It’s a mental block, we should try and move the block to a different area to help but all too often no one knows where to turn to for information and support. (Barry has distributed information leaflet contact number.)
Reverend Noel presenting Barry Mc Gale with a memento.
Speaker Ann McGarrigle from Suicide Support Group who lost her son to suicide said coming here to talk and sharing her experience as a mother to bring hope and belonging to the people who lost their love ones and not to shy away from seeking help.

Vin McCullagh, playwright of ‘Why am I?’, spoke about his true story of attempts to deal with manic depression, mental illness and his personal battle in dealing with the threat of suicide. Vin offers a unique insight into the battle against mental illness which is now increasingly being diagnosed and openly discussed in society today.
SECA Chairman Dr Nari Babu presenting Ann McGarrigle with a memento.
Bobby Rao, SECA development officer, thanked the three speakers and said they were excellent in giving courage and strength to people who think it’s a stigma when they lose their loved ones to suicide.
If you need any help or support, call:

Ann McGarrigle – 02871278709 OR 07738057129

Barry McGale – 02871865127

Filed under: News - Posted on Sunday, December 28th, 2008 @ 6:02 pm