Portarlington Dirty Old Towns group visits EU

The hard work of Portarlington’s Dirty Old Towns committee was recognised recently when local Labour MEP Nessa Childers took them on a whirlwind paid trip to Brussels.

The hard work of Portarlington’s Dirty Old Towns committee was recognised recently when local Labour MEP Nessa Childers took them on a whirlwind paid trip to Brussels.

The 14 strong committee formed six months ago to work on projects in Port as part of RTE’s Dirty Old Towns programme, with the help of local volunteers and donations. As the credits rolled on the final episode recently, they were busy packing their bags for the two night trip to the home of the European parliament.

“The timing was perfect. We packed our bags and were out at 4.30am the morning after. Through the whole six months we were working hard and this was a great opportunity to just sit and chat. We had a ball,” said Margaret Guijt Lawlor.

The had their flights and hotel paid out of the MEP’s budget to bring groups to visit the EU capital.

“Every MEP has a allocation of trips that are European funded and Nessa chooses to use them to treat the voluntary and community organisations in her constituency to re-charge their batteries so they can continue doing their great work in the community,” Ms Lawlor explained.

The group enjoyed a tour of the European Parliament buildings during their two night stay.

“It was great to make the link, a lot of decisions made there affect us directly,” said Ms Lawlor, adding that later in the year the Port Tidy Towns committee will be enjoying a similar trip.