This week Donegal Youth Service were celebrating Europe Day and  Ireland’s 50th Anniversary of joining the EU. On Tuesday 9th May 2023, a good number of DYS service users and staff attended the Europe Day event which was held in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny.
This event was funded by Europe Direct Letterkenny and the Department of Foreign Affairs under their Communicating Europe Initiative and commemorated the signing of the Schuman Declaration on 9 May 1950 which secured long-term peace in post-war Europe and laid the early foundations for what is now the European Union.
The MC for the event was Brendan Mooney, European Programmes Manager from the Northern and Western Regional Assembly.
The speakers on the day included Stephen Kinsella, Professor of Economics at the University of Limerick and author of Ireland in 2050: How we will Live,  Emma Murtagh, European Programmes Manager, The Wheel, Olivia Jones, Clean Coasts Coordinator for the North West Region Environmental Education Unit, Professor Hugh Frazer, Former Coordinator of the European Social Policy Network, Paul Kernan from the Donegal Intercultural Platform, Joleen Kuyper Machado, New Communities Manager, Donegal Local Development CLG, Emeritus Professor John Sweeney, Maynooth University and the youth-orientated speech was given by our very own Katarzyna Kurzeja on youth mobility opportunities within Europe.
There was an acapella performance from the New Land Choir performed by people from all over Europe, pre-recorded well wishes from our MEPs Chris MacManus and Ming Flanagan and a live Zoom call with Colm Markey MEP who took questions from TY students from Errigal College, Letterkenny and St. Columba’s College. In addition, Maria Walsh MEP held a live video call with pupils from Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana Library to promote Europe Day.
On Thursday 11th May 2023, we held the Bringing Donegal Together event in the Loft drop-in. There was lovely food and drinks available and staff and service users alike had numerous discussions on the values of peace, cultural diversity, and inclusion within local communities and in Europe. There was also an interesting debate on how different cultures enhance Irish society. Not everyone agreed on every topic but everyone was respectful of other opinions and civilised debates ensued. There was a good turnout for the event and we all look forward to another 50 years as a part of the European Union.



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