The Dublin City Good Citizen Awards ceremony took place in the Mansion House on the 18th May 2016. The awards acknowledge and celebrate the contribution made to Dublin city by countless hidden heroes of everyday life. Over the coming weeks, we’re presenting a profile of the winners who stood out in making a big difference to the lives of others.
Marius Marosan – New Communities
My name is Marius Marosan, and I’m trying to help my community, of Romanians living in Ireland. I guess that I’ve been nominated for this award for helping a lot of people. With a group of other people from Romania who are based here, I help in a lot of different ways; with translations, information, the filling out of forms, representing people at RPTB (the Private Residential Tenancies Board) if they have problems with their landlords, or their employer, I try to give them advice. If somebody has died, I help them to repatriate the body.
You do whatever you can. We try to give them an idea about their rights. It’s important that people know that if they come to live in Ireland, they have a place to go to get the help they need.
For people who speak English, there are citizen information points all over the city, but try to imagine how hard it is for people who come here who don’t speak English too well. There’s not much for them to rely on. Basically, that’s what we’re trying to offer. Someone they can trust.
Why do I do what I do? A lot of people ask me that. Because I can. If I sat around all day not doing anything, I would go crazy. Before I came to Ireland, I was working in insurance, and I had a very active life. Then I sustained an injury, and I’m recovering with physiotherapy and hydrotherapy in the meantime, I need to do something to keep my mind busy. So I help others.
When I came here, you couldn’t find anyone to help you for free. You always had to pay something, give something in return. It’s nice, when you go to a foreign country, to know that you can ask a question and get an answer without it having to cost you anything.
What does it mean to be nominated? It means that the people I helped appreciated what I did. I suppose it’s their way of saying thank you. Will I be happy if I win? Of course (laughs).
Marius won the Dublin City Good Citizen Award in the New Communities Category. This category recognises those who have worked to make people’s transition into their new communities easier and who through their work managed to build bridges and greater integration and understanding between the many residents of different nationalities.