Running as one | Hundreds prepare for the Permanent TSB Sanctuary Run 2023

It’s a running event like no other and this year’s Permanent TSB Sanctuary Run is set to welcome 1,000 participants to Sport Ireland’s cross-country course in Abbotstown, Dublin on Sunday, October 1st.

The Permanent TSB Sanctuary Run 2023 is organised by Sanctuary Runners, a solidarity-through-sport movement, which uses running, jogging and walking to bring all in the community together including refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants.

This year, Sanctuary Runners is delighted to welcome Permanent TSB, proud title sponsor of the Irish Olympic Team and the Irish Paralympic Team, as official sponsor for this year’s event. The Run is also supported by the Olympic Federation of Ireland and, for the second year in succession, Athletics Ireland.

Participants will include local runners and Sanctuary Runner members from across Dublin, Wicklow, Louth, Monaghan, Kildare, Meath and Westmeath. Many will be seeking international protection and a large number of Ukrainian people in Dublin are expected to take part.

Graham Clifford, founder of the Sanctuary Runners said this event is unique – “It’s just a joyous morning which brings together people of all different nationalities to run, jog and walk as one. It’s a fun event, open to all abilities and we’re delighted that this will be our second Sanctuary Run. Community integration in Ireland is so important, now more than ever, and we will continue to play our part in bringing all people together in solidarity, friendship and respect regardless of nationality, skin colour, religion, culture, gender or sexual orientation.”

Organisers are inviting members of the public to take part in the free event by registering at

At the launch of the Permanent TSB Sanctuary Run 2023 at the Sport Ireland campus yesterday, Permanent TSB Chief Human Resources Officer and Director of Corporate Development, Ger Mitchell explained why the Bank is pleased to be supporting this year’s event.

“As proud title sponsor of Team Ireland, we are delighted to collaborate with our partners at the Olympic Federation of Ireland, as well as the teams at both Sanctuary Runners and Athletics Ireland to deliver the Permanent TSB Sanctuary Run 2023.

Through our own commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, we continually seek to create a more inclusive Permanent TSB for our colleagues and for our customers.

Likewise, we recognise that sport is at the heart of communities across the country, and that it has an important role to play in bringing people together to create more inclusive communities. No matter what your nationality, background or personal experience may be, we encourage everyone to come together in solidarity and take part in this year’s Permanent TSB Sanctuary Run.’’

On the day there will be a chipped 5km running event on the cross country route at the Sport Ireland campus with a limited entry and separately a fun run where entrants can run, jog or walk. There will be no charge for participants.

Peter Sherrard, CEO of the Olympic Federation of Ireland said the values of this special run tie in with the aims and principles of the Olympic movement.

We have worked for a long time with Graham and his team at Sanctuary Runners. They do incredible work which is vitally important and often life changing. The Olympic Federation of Ireland is proud to be supporting this year’s run in tandem with our sponsor Permanent TSB. By participating you will be supporting a great cause. You will also have the opportunity to make new friends and discover the fantastic facilities on the Sport Ireland Campus.”

At the launch of the event Olympic Gold medallist and World Champion Kellie Harrington and Irish athletes Hiko Tonosa and Bori Akinola, as well as Olympic bronze medal winning rower Emily Hegarty, ran with refugees living in Dublin.

And Hiko Tonosa said events like this, and the work of the Sanctuary Runners, is so important.

He said: “As a former refugee I know how difficult it can be. Sometimes you feel invisible. An event like this and the work of the Sanctuary Runners helps make people be seen, be heard and be respected. Its just wonderful that sport can help make that happen.”

A national movement with 30 groups across Ireland Sanctuary Runners has now seen over 12,000 people take part in one of their events since they were formed in Cork in January 2018.

A long-time supporter of their work, Athletics Ireland, will also be assisting on the day of the Permanent TSB Sanctuary Run 2023.

Director of Participation with Athletics Ireland Rachel Ormord, said “We always welcome the opportunity to support Sanctuary Runners where running is used as a vehicle for solidarity and collaboration. This year’s event on October 1st is no exception. Celebrating diversity and interculturalism is something we are so very proud to do.”

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