Laois County Councillor, Padraig Fleming was one of eleven Irish delegates who attended an EU initiative in Formigine, Italy, recently.
Cllr Fleming, who is the chairperson of the board of directors of Ossory Youth was accompanied on the trip by Ossory Youth board members Elizabeth Dermody, Seamus Morrissey, Treasa Forristal and Maureen Brennan, OY staff represented the youth service.
Other groups represented in Italy were the Susie Long Hospice Group, St. Catherine’s Family Resource Centre, ICA, Clogh Parish Liturgy Group and Slieverue Youth Club.
The Irish group were joined by Italian and French delegations who discussed ways to develop and broaden opportunities for social volunteering both in at home and between EU Partners.
It was an intensive four days with delegates delivering presentations on behalf of their groups and participating in workshops designed to identify ways of forming alliances between the countries represented.
A team of interpreters translated proceedings but any language difficulties were secondary as the popularity of the Irish delegation became evident over the four days and strong links were formed with communities in Saumur in France and Formigine in Italy, which will be of benefit in the future.
This is the start of an ongoing process which will continue through a series of meetings over the next few years.