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Active citizenship

Asked about the government’s progress on its policy for active citizenship, the Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey told the Dail that the steering committee had initiated an audit of community, sports and arts facilities. 32 of the 34 local authorities had now completed their audits, with two still in progress.  The Department of Education & Skills had encouraged schools to make their premises available for the use of community and other groups.  The National Council for Curriculum Assessment had developed a syllabus for a full optional exam subject ‘Politics and society’ as an extension of Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE).  Active citizenship would be the main theme of Social Inclusion Week in October as part of the EU year for combatting poverty and social exclusion.  The steering committee had been liaising with the department on active citizenship awareness and practical activities to be undertaken by communities, working with the local authorities around the country that week (Dail Eireann, Debates, 1st July 2010, 440-1).

The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey told Caomhghin O Caolain (SF, Cavan Monaghan) that the steering group for active citizenship, which had been transferred from the Department of the Taoiseach to his department in May 2010, had met five times, – once in 2008 and four times in 2009 (Dail Eireann, Debates, 6th July 2010, 981).  Details of its budget for 2006-2010 were listed (nil in 2010 to date).  He welcomed the integration of its work into the department, which would complement his other work in voluntary activity and community development.  He had met with the chairperson, Mary Davis, to discuss how to progress the agenda.