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Communicating Europe – September 2009

In September we held a series of four meetings on Communicating Europe & the Lisbon Treaty. This was in response to requests from members.

The Irish Senior Citizens Parliament facilitated these meeting with Members of the European Parliament & other public representatives to inform Older People about the European Union & the Lisbon Treaty and their affect on older people.

Four meetings were held with a variety of speakers. The format was each meeting started with a “Just the Facts” presentation setting the context and history of the European Union facilitated by Andrea Pappin of the European Movement Ireland or Peadar O’Broin of the Institute of International & European Affairs. We sought a representative from the European Commission, but they were unable to facilitate our request.

This was followed by (an equal number of) speakers in favour (Y) of the Treaty & against (N) the Treaty. We had lively discussions as quite a number of older people came along both to listen and contribute.

The main speakers were:

  • Dún Laoghaire / Rathdown: Mary Hanafin TD (Y), Proinsias de Rossa MEP (Y), Eoin O’Broin (N) (in place of Mary Lou McDonald) and Tony Allwright, journalist (N). Seán Barrett TD attended and made a contribution. Frank Farrelly, ISCP Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown chaired the meeting.

  • EPIC, Dublin: Gay Mitchell MEP (Y) & Patricia McKenna (N). Sylvia Meehan, President ISCP, chaired the meeting

 

  • Finglas: Proinsias de Rossa MEP & Joe Higgins MEP (N). Hugh Smullen, Chair of Finglas Division ISCP, welcomed the attendees & speakers.
  • Galway: Cllr. Catherine Connolly (N) & Dr. Brendan Flynn, NUIG (Y). Evelyn Moran, ISCP Honorary Secretary & Galway Division chaired the meeting.

 

These meetings were organised in close cooperation with the local Divisions of the Parliament. Máiréad Hayes CEO and ISCP staff attended all meetings.

Issues raised at the meetings included : healthcare, pensions, new taxes, why a second referendum, security & defence, the Citizens Initiative, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Irish guarantees, Ireland’s Commissioner, wage rates, climate change and & voting rights.

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