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Poles enter local Irish politics

imageLocal Government Training Course for Polish activists who want to engage in the local politics in Ireland will be launched by Lord Mayor, Emer Costello, Minister O’Dowd and Polish Ambassador as a part of “Vote! You are at home” campaign.

2nd September, 3pm
at the Polish Embassy, 5 Ailesbury Rd

The training run by Forum Polonia and School for Leaders Association in cooperation with the Polish Embassy in Dublin aims to prepare Polish activists for the forthcoming local elections. It is designed for those who wish to stand as candidates, educate and encourage their communities to register and vote. The 7-day intense course giving them necessary knowledge and skills will include workshops and seminars with Irish political figures, mentors and trainers from Poland.

Polish activist Barnaba Dorda from Forum Polonia explains the purpose of the campaign: “Since the enlargement of the European Union almost 10 years ago, Poles who moved to Ireland have settled down here with their families and became an integral part of the society. They also bought houses and progressed their careers here. Poles now want to take responsibility and play a vital role in developing local communities.

The training itself is a part of broader campaign “Vote! You are at home” which Forum Polonia along with School for Leaders Association are about to launch. The campaign aims to encourage the Polish community to register and vote in the local elections in Ireland as well as to enhance sense of belonging to their local communities.

Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn strongly supports the action: “ I am glad to see the Polish community actively engaging in the life of Irish towns and cities. I see them every day living, working, attending cultural events, truly integrating in our city and I believe they will play a significant role in the forthcoming local elections. I am happy to see such an initiative”.

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For more information please contact Barnaba Dorda (barnaba.dorda@forumpolonia.org; 087 291 5591) or Artur Banaszkiewicz (artur.banaszkiewicz@forumpolonia.org; 0833 833 426).

Notes to editors:
Poles voting in Ireland in Polish parliamentary and presidential elections:
2005 – 885 registered (Polish parliamentary elections)
2007 – 21 333 registered (Polish parliamentary elections)
2010 – 20 403 registered (Polish presidential elections)
2011 – over 14 000 voted (Polish parliamentary elections)

Poles standing in last local elections: 9 candidates (Fine Gael, Finna Fail, Labour Party, independent)

Forum Polonia (www.forumpolonia.org) is a cooperative platform that brings together representatives of Polish community organisations, media and individuals involved in projects relating to the Polish minority and its links to Irish society as a whole. Forum operates through information exchange, mutual supports, social integration and promoting and developing the interests of the Polish community in the Republic of Ireland.

School for Leaders Association (www.szkola-liderow.pl) based in Warsaw, Poland, acting in over 40 countries, for the last 17 years School for Leaders has been educating the leaders of public life, providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary in their socio-political activity and by creating space for the development of their attitudes and opinions. Since 2006 SLA is involved in increasing the voters’ turnout in Poland as a part of ‘Your vote, your choice’ campaign.

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