Political history made on Arranmore island

History was made on Arranmore island last Friday when the Joint Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands held an official sitting to discuss island issues.

The meeting, the first official Oireachtas business to be held on an offshore island, signifies the importance of involving all the people of Ireland in the democratic process.

The meeting covered three strands; climate neutrality and biodiversity on the islands, housing and sustaining communities on offshore Islands and eHealth and living longer on islands.

Committee meetings have been held outside the Leinster House before, notably as part of a series of debates before Ireland voted on acceptance of the Lisbon Treaty, but advances in telecommunications infrastructure and rural communications enabled proceedings to be conducted and streamed live from an offshore island for the very first time from Árainn Mhór.

Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Denis Naughten said this live broadcast of Oireachtas business being conducted outside Dublin for the first time shows “the huge potential that broadband and technology have in bringing democracy and the operations of Leinster House to the people right across this country”.

“It is significant that a national initiative is for the first time being commenced on an offshore island rather than in another part of the country.”

The Committee on Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, chaired by Deputy Denis Naughten, is tasked with scrutinising the work of the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Rural and Community Development and their respective agencies. It also has a special remit to consider matters of relevance to Ireland’s offshore islands, a unique and important rural community in itself.

Deputy Naughton said: “The Committee’s meeting on Árainn Mhór coincided with Culture Night 2023, when Leinster House opened its doors and allowed people see the lesser-seen and storied history of their Parliament building. Along with the sitting on Árainn Mhór, it is an indication that location is secondary to the business of Parliament, the people involved in that process and the importance of seeing democracy in action.”

Watch the meeting back here. 

Political history made on Arranmore island was last modified: September 26th, 2023 by Rachel McLaughlin