Ireland gives two thumbs up for development as The European Year for Development Launch Ceremony in Dublin Castle scoops two awards

02 june 2015

The event, organised by Dóchas, won awards for Best Launch Event and Best Conference at the Event Industry Awards in Dublin last night.

 “We are thrilled to have won these awards for the opening ceremony of the European Year for Development. The event really captured the energy and enthusiasm and the sheer commitment that people all over Ireland have to creating a more just and sustainable world. It was a great way to kick off an action packed year and the message that ‘one person can make a difference’ has been rippling across the country,” says Hans Zomer, Director of Dóchas.

Two hundred people came together in Dublin Castle for the event on January 22nd to celebrate the European Year for Development. The launch was attended by President Michael D. Higgins who gave the keynote address.

In his inspirational speech President Michael D. Higgins said ‘2015 presents us with both huge challenges and opportunities. It will require brave and wise decisions from world leaders. It will also require vigilance and activism among Ireland’s NGO workers, parliamentarians, public intellectuals, academics, and beyond, to ensure that our policies are sourced in global welfare and that our policy-makers deliver on their promises’.

The conference was MC’d by Helen Shaw of Athena Media, and included presentations from Carry Somers of Fashion Revolution; the ‘google girls’ – the three winners of the young scientist competition – Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy Thow; Catherine Mahoro of Down to Basics Network of Immigrant Entrepreneurs; Oisin Coughlan of Friends of the Earth and Sean Sherlock TD, Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for ODA. There was a celebratory atmosphere on the day with a theatre performance from Droichead Youth Theatre and music from Nigerian musician Kunle Caleb Adewunmi.

The ceremony was attended by people from every sphere of Irish society- people from the business world, politicians, activists, youth groups, media, and community groups. The pure range of people there was a sign that Ireland cares about global issues and international development. During what is a pivotal year for the planet, people all over Ireland are getting involved in global issues, keeping the motto of the European Year for Development- our world, our dignity, our future - at the heart of what they do.

Background to the awards: 

On Wednesday, May 27th 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dublin, Burlington Road, the cream of Ireland's event sector were recognised and celebrated in front of an audience of over 550 senior executives. Hosted by the comedian Neil Delamere, 20 prestigious trophies were presented to the very best leaders and organisations within Ireland's event industry.

For more information about the awards please see:

About the European Year for Development:

2015 is the European Year for Development. Since the early 1980s, the European Union has been designating thematic European Years, to highlight specific issues of relevance. 2015 is the first time that the EU has dedicated an EU Year to an “external action” area. It has done so, because 2015 will be a pivotal year for the future of humanity.

During the year, two United Nations summit meetings will effectively define the parameters for international policy making.

In September, the UN will agree new goals – a new “Sustainable Development Framework” – to tackle poverty, inequality and environmental destruction.

And in December, the Climate Change summit in Paris will set new climate action targets, to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

These summits will have binding consequences for Ireland’s own development in a number of policy areas, including energy, transport, agriculture and environment.

We believe, therefore, that all people in Ireland should be aware of the importance of these summits. And that everyone in Ireland should have a say in what ‘Sustainable Development’ should mean.

Dóchas, the umbrella body of Irish development NGOS, is co-ordinating the European Year for Development in Ireland

For more information see /