On Tuesday 1st October, the Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD, launched What’s the Story? – 25 Stories about Ireland and Europe, a publication with 25 stories illustrating some of the ways that Ireland benefits from European Union membership. The European Commission Representation in Ireland prepared the publication, which draws on examples from communities, media and culture, businesses, farms, schools and universities across Ireland.
Stories include 'Telling Award Winning Stories' featuring Crossing the Line Films, a very successful company supported by Creative Europe MEDIA funding. One of Ireland's leading documentary film-makers, Crossing the Line Films produce powerful documentaries on subjects as diverse as wildlife, science and history. Their work has been broadcast worldwide and has garnered multiple awards including an Emmy in 2018 for their feature documentary, The Farthest, about the iconic Voyager mission.
Other stories include the battle to save the curlew in Galway; a clean energy project on Cape Clear; cutting food waste in Meath; tackling eye disease in Waterford; exporting gin from Leitrim; and mapping the North Atlantic. These projects, and others, have all benefited from EU support or funding and highlight some of the ways that Ireland benefits from European Union membership over the past 46 years.
Launching the Publication, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl, TD said:
'What’s the Story? – 25 Stories about Ireland and Europe contains rich personal stories of the real ways that European cooperation opens the door to economic opportunity and cultural enrichment, both for Irish people and for our fellow Europeans wishing to strengthen ties with Ireland. Since Ireland joined the then-EEC in 1973, our people have developed a deep appreciation of what it means to be a European and a true partner to our fellow EU Member States.'
European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee, TD, said:
'Since Ireland joined the EU in 1973 we have benefitted hugely from our membership. In that time, we have moved from an isolated island on the fringes of Europe, to a modern island at the heart of EU. The EU is our home and it is one that we have helped to build and will continue to nourish and improve over the next number of decades. Today’s stories give practical examples of how we in Ireland continue to benefit from our membership of the EU. The EU spans across the entire continent of Europe and allows us to have endless opportunities, to work, live, study and travel in each-others countries. This is something that we must protect, so that this generation and the ones who follow can continue to benefit from.'
Gerry Kiely, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, said:
'One of the greatest stories to be told today is that of Ireland’s relationship with Europe. It’s a tale that has lasted over four decades, and one that will continue to unfold for many future generations. The real story of the European Union and Ireland however can be found in the stories that unfold quietly and without fuss in the communities, businesses, farms, schools and universities around the country.'
Speakers at the event included Margaret Malone of the National Transport Authority who discussed the Clean Energy for EU Islands project which is helping the Aran Islands and Cape Clear to switch to renewable energy; Professor John Nolan from Waterford IT and Moya Doherty, producer and RTE chair who spoke about research into macular degeneration at Waterford IT which has received major EU funding.
Hard copies of the publication can be requested from the European Commission Representation in Ireland, Europe House, 12-14 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org