Local youth activist Mair Kelly was invited to attend the Cork Citizen’s Dialogue on the Future of Europe at Cork County Hall on Thursday. Mair is well known locally as a community volunteer working with Comhairle na nÓg and the YMCA and a number of other voluntary organisations outside our area she is also a past winner of the West Cork Garda Youth Award.
The Dialogue brought citizens from all walks of life around the table to discuss how Europe should approach issues as broad as training for jobs of the future to rural development and examining how the EU needs to evolve to bring all its citizens together. Mair is in her last year at Schull Community College and as the youngest there was able to bring her unique perspective both as a representative of the future of Europe as well as a member of our local rural community.
For one so young Mair has built up tremendous experience as she has travelled as an Irish delegate to the European Parliament in Strasbourg as well as to a number of conferences in Cork and Dublin as well as Dáil Éireann.
As expected the evening at Cork County Hall was lively with debate from all sides giving everyone the chance to express their opinions and concerns during the workshops. Mair was delighted to have the opportunity to raise various issues concerning education and the environment, both areas that she is very involved with and had her chance to meet with the Minister of State for European Affairs, Ms Helen McEntee T.D. and Noelle O Connell the Executive Director of European Movement Ireland. She was quick to note that it was good to see strong women at the forefront of European development, who knows one day she might be joining them!