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European year for combatting poverty and social exclusion

The Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, Pat Carey, reported to the Dail on the outcome of the 2010 European year for combatting poverty and social exclusion (Dail Eireann, Debates, 14th December 2010, 119).  He told Joan Burton (Lab, Dublin W) that the main week in the year took place from 17-21 October and was led by the local authorities to showcase best practice in local social inclusion initiatives and the work of the Social Inclusion Units and to highlight active citizenship in promoting social inclusion.  His department provided €47,600 and 28 local authorities received €1,700 each to assist.  He was impressed by the range of activities and the way that they sought to meet the objectives of the year, with events including community competitions, exhibitions, workshops and projects to raise awareness about the impact of social inclusion in communities.  There were also information initiatives about Traveller culture, ethnic diversity, homelessness and the work of the local authorities to bring about an inclusive society, with events aimed to reach out to older people, youth and people with disabilities and promote their participation in the local community.  They involved local schools, libraries, childcare providers, family resource centres, local businesses and sports clubs.