Well over a hundred people turned out for the final GCCF Quarterly Meeting of the Year. The theme for the meeting was My Galway: My Vision, and the meeting was addressed by local community activists on the theme, including Margaret Ó Riada who spoke about social inclusion; Eleanor Hough who spoke on a vision for the Arts & Culture and how they can be used for social inclusion; Marian Maloney Nolan who spoke on the issue of disability; Derrick Hambleton who spoke of a vision for the environment in Galway; Edwin Brennan who spoke of an inclusive sports and recreation sector; Julia Sweeney who spoke about Travellers; John Corcoran, who spoke of a vision for inclusion of the LGBT community; Siphathisiwe Moyo who spoke of a vision for including those currently living in direct provision and Brendan Smith who spoke on the need for a holistic vision for Galway followed up by action to achieve the vision.
The meeting was then addressed by Brendan McGrath, Galway City Manager, who outlined the successes that Galway has achieved and some of the challenges facing the city. Sustainability was a key theme for his address and he finished by assuring the meeting that Galway City Council will have an ongoing commitment to social inclusion and participation, as well as to the Barcelona Declaration.
There were also inputs from Galway Coty Councillors, Peter Kean (in his capacity as Deputy Mayor), Collette Connolly, Frank Fahy, Neil McNelis, Nuala Nolan and Catherine Connolly.
The meeting was then address by Dr Chris McInerney from the University of Limerick who told all those in attendance that participation is not rocket science and outlined a series of practical steps that can be taken to ensure that Galway becomes model for participation and inclusion.
After some general discussion Marian Maloney Nolan introduced International Day for People with Disabilities. She outlined how people with disabilities need to be kept permanently on the agenda. She introduced Margaretta D’Arcy who introduced her short film, Welcome to our World, as part of the GCCF celebration of the International Day.
After such a dynamic and vibrant meeting, the GCCF Steering Committee will be back to planning the Quarterly Meetings for 2014. It is critical that we build on this to ensure participation and inclusion in the reform of local government process.
To download the summary document on Putting People First please click here
To download Dr Chris McInerney’s presentation please click here