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Mary Lou McDonald welcomes Dublin women community activists to EU Parliament

23 November, 2005

Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has today welcomed a delegation of community activists from across the city of Dublin to the European Parliament in Brussels. Ms McDonald said that her hope was that today's meetings would 'assist community organisations in continuing to delivering quality services at a local level'.

Over 25 Dublin women from various community projects met with representatives from the European Commission and various NGO organisations including EUROCHILD and the European Citizen Action Centre. Issues under discussion included funding opportunities, lobbying skills, childcare, education and employment issues. Sinn Féin Councillors Larry O´Toole and Dessie Ellis accompanied the delegation.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"Today's visit to the European Parliament by women from across the Dublin community sector is particularly welcome. The meetings have been useful and throughout the course of the day we met with the European Commission and NGO organisations to discuss issues of relevance to the people and groups represented.

"We have been able to question, debate and receive feedback on European policy, and how it affects Ireland. Discussions also took place regarding the allocation and distribution of funding, and how EU funds can be accessed.

"We should be looking to other European countries for models of best practice with regard to issues such as education, tackling the drugs problem and childcare.

"The European institutions are a huge bureaucracy. My hope is that today's meetings will in some small way help cut through that bureaucracy and will assist community organisations in continuing to deliver quality services at a local level." ENDS

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