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  • Writer's picturePippa Hackett

Marking EU50 and Europe Day in Offaly

This week marks both Europe Day and EU50, the 50th Anniversary of the referendum in which the Irish people voted to join the then European Economic Community (10th May 1972).

To celebrate the day, I visited schools in Kilcormac and Banagher, together with Croatian Ambassador Davor Vidis, to encourage conversations with young people on the concept of Europe and its future.

EU50 celebrates 50 years of our membership of, and contribution to, the European Union. In Banagher, I was delighted to meet Ms. Canty’s 3rd&4th class and Ms. Quinlan’s 5th&6th class. I was encouraged by the engagement of our young people in this 2022 European Year of Youth and delighted by their interest and knowledge.

Speaking to students from a mixture of years in Banagher College, The Croatian Ambassador to Ireland, H.E Davor Vidis told them that it was a real privilege to visit schools in Offaly to mark Europe Day and EU50.

“Croatia and Ireland have a special relationship. For me, the best thing about Ireland is the people. It is the people that make Ireland special, and I want everyone to know that Ireland is a welcoming nation” the Ambassador said.

The war in Ukraine highlights that the ideals behind the setting up of what became the European Union are still necessary. We must not take our membership of the EU for granted and we must be active participants in upholding its ideals. The Programme for Government underlines the Government’s commitment to being at the heart of the European home we helped to build and that is all the more important now.

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