Cllr Clifford Kelly; Helen Louise McEntee, T.D.; An Taoiseach Leo Vardkar, T.D.; Dr. Michael Mulvey; Michel Barnier
Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) warmly welcomed politicians from across the island of Ireland who travelled to the DkIT campus to participate in the fourth plenary meeting of the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit on Monday.
The event was hosted by DkIT on behalf of An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar T.D. and the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D..
EU Chief Negotiator for the Article 50 process, Michel Barnier delivered the keynote address to the plenary session which comprised an audience of 500 representatives from civic society groups, trade unions, business groups, non-governmental organisations and political parties from Ireland North and South and representatives from the EU. He singled out DkIT for particular mention during his speech.
A key focus of the plenary was the perspective of young people regarding Brexit. Economic and civic society issues were high on the agenda and some sessions were themed around looking to the post-Brexit future. 15 DkIT students from across the four Academic Schools were nominated to participate as delegates at the event and DkIT President, Dr. Michael Mulvey welcomed the Taoiseach and other delegates to the campus as they arrived.
Speaking at the conference, DkIT President Dr. Michael Mulvey said:
“We were delighted to host the fourth All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit in conjunction with the Department of Foreign Affairs. As the first ever plenary session to be held in the Border Region, DkIT was a natural choice of venue given our location on the M1 corrido, equidistant between Dublin and Belfast. Brexit is one of the most significant challenges facing the island of Ireland and it is important that the concerns of our young people and those of the business and civic community, particularly in the border region are heard and are understood as negotiations continue. Today we were pleased that DkIT students and staff were able to actively contribute to an open dialogue around Brexit.”
DkIT coordinated with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to ensure that the event was a success and ran smoothly on the day. Staff and students from the DkIT’s Department of Hospitality showcased their culinary and hospitality skills by organising a working lunch for senior delegates including Michel Barnier and the Tánaiste. DkIT Applied Music students also took to the stage to deliver a series of classical and Irish traditional music performances to entertain delegates throughout the day.