Your Country, Your Call what it is and how it works


The companies and individuals funding the Your Country, Your Call competition were not disclosed yesterday but are to be published later this year.

The competition is administered by An Smaoineamh Mór, a not-for-profit organisation chaired by former Bank of Ireland governor Dr Laurence Crowley.

Directors include Martin Murphy, managing director of Hewlett Packard Ireland and Eugene McCague, chairman of Arthur Cox solicitors.

Dr Crowley said some €2 million had already been donated to the competition. “We need a little more than that but not a lot more.” The money came from companies mainly, but also from individuals.

He said there was no difficulty in revealing the donors’ names, but they had given the money privately and needed to be consulted before their names were published on the competition website.

No donor can give more than €150,000 to the competition.

“We want the ownership of it to vest in the nation,” Dr Crowley said.

He added that the Government was fully behind the project and had provided “a small amount of money”, as well as providing an open door to the State agencies.

The judging panel of 12 to 18 people will be chaired by former EU commissioner David Byrne but the other members have not yet been selected.

Dr Crowley said the competition could handle “several thousand” applications. Asked if there was a possibility that the competition would not receive any good ideas, he said “everybody we’ve spoken to is so enthusiastic and so supportive. They are talking that we’ll get ideas in the thousands”.

Good ideas that did not win a prize would be referred to the appropriate State agencies with the entrant’s consent, Dr Crowley said.