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Minister Flanagan launches Sligo as European Volunteering Capital 2017


Minister Flanagan launches Sligo as European Volunteering Capital 2017

- Minister pays tribute to the contribution of volunteers to Irish society
- Minister invokes the spirit of “meitheal”
- Minister congratulates Sligo on achieving this prestigious designation

The Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade, Charlie Flanagan,TD, this evening launched Sligo as the European Volunteering Capital, 2017, succeeding London which held the title in 2016.

In his remarks, Minister Flanagan said:

“I am delighted to see Sligo follow London, Lisbon and Barcelona as the European Volunteering Capital, 2017."

Minister Flanagan said volunteering has always been a natural part of who we are as a people. He stated:

“In Ireland we have a rich history of helping each other out in the spirit of neighbourliness and community. As a largely rural people for most of our history there has always been a great tradition of helping neighbours - to save the hay, to deliver the calves and the lambs, to cut the silage. In Ireland there is even a specific word for a community-based enterprise, and embodiment of the public spirit: meítheal.”

Minister Flanagan also paid tribute to the role of volunteers in Irish society, whether in sports, religion or politics and continued:

“The ancient spirit of meítheal has ensured that we continue to have a vibrant voluntary sector in Ireland. Whether it is engaged in awareness raising about serious illnesses or care of and outreach to the elderly, or community work....Irish people giving of their time and skill for good causes makes our country a wonderful place to live and delivers so much to communities and broader society.”

Minister Flanagan concluded:

"I want to congratulate all those involved in achieving the prestigious designation of European Volunteering Capital for Sligo and wish everyone in the community success for the year."

Press Office
27 January 2017


Notes for Editors:

• The European Volunteering Capital Competition is organised by the European Volunteer Centre, the European umbrella association of twenty-nine national and regional volunteer centres across Europe.
• The competition aims to promote volunteering at the local level by giving recognition to municipalities that support and strengthen partnerships with volunteer centres and volunteer-involving organisations, celebrate and promote volunteering and the impact made by volunteers.
• The winners from the previous editions are London 2016 European Volunteering Capital, Lisbon 2015 European Volunteering Capital and Barcelona 2014 European Volunteering Capital.