The Minister Rural and Community Development, Mr Michael Ring, TD, has announced the launch of a National Community Day, to be held for the first time on May Bank Holiday weekend, 2019.
Minister Ring has urged local communities to come up with ideas for events in their areas.
Speaking at the National Ploughing Championship in Screggan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly, Minister Ring said: “National Community Day is a celebration of the great spirit of community that exists throughout the country and an effort to facilitate people who share communities to get together, get to know each other and deepen the sense of community in their area."
“Events will take place over the course of the May Bank Holiday weekend (4-6 May) 2019. The days will be getting longer and the summer will be just upon us."
“I invite people throughout the country to begin thinking about how they can help make National Community Day events a success for their local community," he added.
“The success of this initiative lies in having local communities decide what events are most appropriate for their area. National Community Day belongs to everyone. We don’t want to tell communities what they should do, events will be very much driven by communities."
“The events could include themes around sport, history, baking, anything that will help neighbours to come together. It could be as simple as neighbours coming together for a cup of tea and a chat," he elaborated.
“National Community Day is a chance for people to foster a sense of helping each other by coming together, not just on that day, but all year round. As our society has become a busier place, people have less time to get to know their neighbours. National Community Day will provide a structure to allow people to meet each other, have an enjoyable time at local events which are devised and driven by the community.”
Minister Ring concluded: “Further details of this exciting initiative will follow in the coming weeks and months.”
National Community Day is an initiative of the Department of Rural and Community Development in conjunction with stakeholders.
Arising from consultation with a number of interested stakeholders, a working group has been formed to consider the design of the event.
Among the Group members are representatives of Public Participation Networks, Local Community Development Companies, Volunteer Ireland, Young Social Innovators, Macra na Feirme, Street Feast and Change X