Muintir na Tire leader calls for professional staffing


Being selected by the Department of Agriculture and Food to carry out pilot projects in community development in Cork, Kerry and Westmeath is strong proof of the relevance of Muintir na Tire, the president of the organisation, Mr Jim Quigley, has said.

Speaking at the annual conference in Limerick on Saturday, he said the organisation would continue to make a valuable contribution to the economic and social development of the country.

But he warned that the organisation faced major challenges, and said the strategic development plan drawn up in 1966 identified the need for professional staff in the field.

"We can no longer get our message across if we rely on the methods which worked well in the Ireland of the 1940s and 1950s. Muintir needs to be out there with trained, professional, full-time staff," he said.

Mr Quigley added that if Muintir na Tire was to employ more professional staff, continuing core funding must be obtained. "This is by no means a new problem for us. As we approach the new millennium it is becoming a crucial issue of survival," he said.

"The need to provide core funding to the voluntary sector from central government will form part of our submission to the Government's White Paper on voluntary activity," he said.