Announcement of Community & Rural Affairs Ministry Heralds New Dawn For Community & Voluntary Sector

The Wheel today warmly welcomed the appointment of Michael Ring TD as Minister for Community and Rural Affairs.

Ivan Cooper, The Wheel's Director of Public Policy said: "The community and voluntary sector makes a massive contribution to national life providing services for people and communities up and down the country.  It supports young people, older people, people with disabilities and people experiencing poverty and disadvantage, amongst many other things - but it has experienced very challenging times in recent years. We are delighted that this new department with Minister Michael Ring at the helm will be focusing on supporting the sector to increase the positive difference that community and voluntary organisations can make in people’s lives" 

The Wheel reports that over half a million people volunteer their time every year with over 19,000 community and voluntary organisations - and that these organisations face daily challenges in raising the funds and in governing and managing their important, and often complex, work.  Mr Cooper added "As Ireland's charities move into the new era of professionalism that the public rightly demands, we need to make sure that people are encouraged to get involved in this great national movement and that public policy supports the work to the greatest extent possible.  We are delighted that there is now a department dedicated to supporting both communities and the community and voluntary sector that sustains thriving communities.  We are very much looking forward to working with Minister Ring in delivering the programme for Government commitment to ‘develop a strategy to support the community and voluntary sector’”, said Mr Cooper.