68% Want More Community Interaction through Events, According to Poll

Irish people are calling out for more “Know Your Neighbour” type events according to a recent survey commissioned by Macra na Feirme and ESB Electric Ireland.  The results of the Red C survey were presented at the launch of Macra na Feirme’s “Know Your Neighbour” initiative at an event hosted by ESB Electric Ireland, who have sponsored the initiative for the past six years. 

Irish author, Cathy Kelly shared her insights on neighbourly interaction at the event which was held at ESB Electric Ireland’s offices in Dublin.

Liam Molloy, General Manager, ESB Electric Ireland said, “It is very important for ESB Electric Ireland to support the communities in which we operate, so it is fitting that we sponsor the “Know Your Neighbour” initiative.  There are many preconceived ideas about Irish people being good neighbours but there has been a lack of research to support such beliefs until now, so it is timely to have some research in this area.   The results validate what we expect in that Irish people truly value their neighbours and being part of a community with 57% of people claiming they know their neighbours and regularly interact with them.   However, there is an appetite for getting  more involved in the community with 68% of people  claiming they would like to participate in a “Know Your Neighbour” type event.”

Macra na Feirme National President, Alan Jagoe, said, “The survey also revealed that 25-34 year olds are less likely to interact with their neighbours and most likely not to know them at all.   As an organisation that represents young people in rural Ireland and as a social network and support, Macra is particularly interested in these results.   The Know Your Neighbour initiative, with the support of ESB Electric Ireland, is designed to motivate people of all ages to make the effort to interact with their neighbours. Younger people need to be encouraged to become more involved and benefit from the support that can be nurtured in communities.”

The Wheel is partnering with Macra on the initiative. "Community and voluntary groups offer a great opportunity to get involved in your community ," said Deirdre Garvey, Chie executive of The Wheel.

ESB Electric Ireland’s sixth Macra na Feirme “Know Your Neighbour Weekend” will take place from 9th - 10th July 2011. The aim of the event is to encourage everyone to get to know their neighbours by organising a community event such as a BBQ, Teddy Bears Picnic, Family Fun Day or just a coffee morning!  Last year, communities throughout Ireland organised events, with at least one event taking place in every county.

Any group or individual planning an event should register for an organizer’s pack at www.knowyourneighbour.ie or by texting KYN, their name and address to 51444. The organisers pack will include helpful ideas, posters, t-shirts and balloons to help make the event successful.