Shared Island Dialogue: Civil Society Cooperation Key To Addressing All-Island Challenges

Posted on 25 Mar 2021

The Wheel and NICVA, the representative bodies for the community and voluntary sectors in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, today called for greater collaboration between civil society organisations across the island. The call was made during an event in the Shared Island Dialogue series, which was launched by Taoiseach Micheál Martin as part of the Shared Island initiative to foster constructive and inclusive civic dialogue on the future of the island underpinned by the Good Friday Agreement.

Speaking during the online event today, Deirdre Garvey, CEO of The Wheel said, “Community and voluntary organisations built connections and commonality of purpose across communities and traditions -  it is in their DNA. These organisations are already working on both sides of the border to address shared challenges such as making a just transition to sustainable rural living, economic regeneration, developing safe and inclusive communities and building trust and a shared purpose across our island. The impact of this work can be amplified if civil society organisations north, south, east and west are encouraged and supported to collaborate more towards their shared goals.”

Seamus McAleavey, CEO of NICVA added that NICVA and The Wheel are building on their long-established relationship to increase collaboration within civil society with other sectors across the island of Ireland. “Voluntary and community organisations are all about public benefit. What they can do to enhance the life of our communities.  If they didn’t exist, they’d be missed in sport, health, mental health and wellbeing, community development, and active community life to name a few areas. They touch the lives of the whole community and for the better. Anything we can do to improve that is a good thing,” said Seamus McAleavey.

Today’s Dialogue on ‘Civil society – catalyst for connection and understanding on a shared island’ is the third in the series and also included a contribution from the Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD.