Saturday, March 2, 2024

Wicklow to welcome hundreds of Irish councillors for future of local government conference

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The significant event will see councillors convening in Wicklow and its surrounding areas for a discussion on the future of local government in Ireland.

Elected member of Wicklow County Council, Councillor Gail Dunne, who currently occupies the role of AILG President, said it will be “an honour” to welcome his fellow delegates to the Garden County and show them all that Wicklow has to offer.

“AILG is the national representative body for the 949 City and County Councillors across Ireland, and we are a networking, policy development and training resource for the elected members,” Cllr Dunne said.

“It is looking like we will have over 300 delegates here, which is absolutely brilliant for local businesses and also for the promotion of Arklow and the surrounding areas.

“The Arklow Bay Hotel, renowned for its hospitality and scenic surroundings, will provide an ideal setting for the conference, offering state-of-the-art facilities and convenient accommodations for delegates travelling from near and far.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase all our amenities and local attractions in Wicklow and to send out a positive message about this great county.”

Under the leadership of Cllr Dunne, the conference will serve as a platform for exploring key findings from a recently published research report titled ‘The 21st Century Councillor in Irish Local Government’.

Commissioned by AILG and conducted in collaboration with Maynooth University, this ground-breaking study offers valuable insights into the evolving role of councillors in Ireland’s local government landscape.

In addition to discussing the research findings, the conference agenda will feature dedicated sessions on Local Election June 2024 preparation.

The AILG Annual Conference will kick off with an address from Minister Neale Richmond TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Employment Affairs and Retail Business.

The conference dinner on Thursday, February 15, will feature a keynote speech by Minister Stephen Donnelly TD, Minister for Health, offering attendees a unique opportunity to engage with government officials on issues of national importance.

Other keynote speakers will include the Cathaoirleach and Chief Executive of Wicklow County Council, Cllr. Aoife Flynn Kennedy and Ms Emer O’Gorman.

Remarking on the importance of the event, Cllr Dunne said: “This conference represents a pivotal moment for our organisation and the broader local government community.

“As we embark on a new council term following the upcoming local elections, it is essential that we engage in meaningful dialogue about the challenges and opportunities facing councillors and local government in the 21st century.

“The insights from our collaborative research effort with Maynooth University will undoubtedly inform our strategies for effective and responsive leadership.”

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