Communicating Europe Initiative (CEI)

Communicating Europe is an Initiative aimed at raising awareness on EU membership to our local secondary schools in the Duhallow Area

The Communicating Europe Initiative (CEI) was established in 1995 to raise awareness about the European Union and to improve the quality and accessibility of public information on European issues. The programme is administered by the Department of the Taoiseach. Earlier this year IRD Duhallow made an application for funding to deliver this initiative to our local secondary schools in the Duhallow area. IRD Duhallow recognises the value of Ireland’s membership to the EU and in particular the value to our own local economy through various European funded initiatives such as LEADER, European Social Fund, LIFE+, Europe’s LifeLong Learning Programme to name a few. The overall aim of the EU, since its foundation in 1958 is to promote peace, the values of human rights, democracy, equality, the rule of law and the well being of its people. Ireland became a member of the EU in 1973 and since then has been an active member. Through their roles as Members of the European Parliaments (MEPs), Commissioners and other officials, Irish men and women have played an active role within the EU, helping to raise Ireland’s profile and contribute to the development of the EU.

Ireland has seen many benefits since joining the EU. IRD Duhallow was set up just over 25 years ago to develop the region, to increase job opportunities locally and to develop and encourage tourism in this area. At this time a huge amount of work was completed locally to collect money but it was not until the first European programme contract was secured for this region which was called LEADER 1 that proper investment was made to the area. Subsequently IRD Duhallow applied for and received more funding through LEADER 2, LEADER+ and the LEADER 2007-2013 mainstream programme. We are now in the process of working towards the next LEADER Programme 2014-2020. Since our inception we have implemented 30 National & EU programmes through a single Community Based Rural Development Structure and levered over 50 million into the Duhallow area. We have helped create approximately 1500 local jobs and sustained a further 1600 existing jobs. In addition we have created 1180 indirect jobs through construction work, consultancy and other initiatives. We have supported 130 Community and Voluntary groups and funded over 850 projects by communities. We have empowered over 5,300 young people to get involved in development projects and initiated support projects with all secondary schools in Duhallow.

In September we were delighted to organise workshops between MEPs from the Southern Constituency to meet with Transition Year students from our five secondary schools in Duhallow. MEP Deirdre Clune facilitated an information session with sixty Transition Year Students of Millstreet Comprehensive School and Scoil Phobail in Rathmore. Also MEP Liadh Ni Riada and MEP Sean Kelly facilitated a session in Kanturk with 130 Transition Year students from Scoil Mhuire and Colaiste Treasa of Kanturk and Boherbue Comprehensive School. These sessions proved very informative for all involved whereby the students received the opportunity to find out what Europe means to them as an Irish Citizen. We are grateful to the participation of the MEPs for graciously giving their time to the students. The students responded very well to the workshops and found them highly interesting and educational and we want to thank the schools for their participation. We congratulate two students from Coláiste Treasa, Kanturk – Ian O’ Sullivan and Eimear Murphy, the winners of this year’s Irish BT Young Scientists Competition. The students represented Ireland at the EU Contest for Young Scientists in Milan. Their project – examining the effects that parents’ alcohol consumption can have on their adolescent children won the Intel
ISEF prize. They will travel to the United States in May of next year to exhibit at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
in Phoenix, Arizona.