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Cllr Dermot Lacey

Representing Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council
Dermot Lacey is a Labour Party Councillor for the Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council. Dermot has been a member of Dublin City Council since 1993, and lives in Beech Hill, Donnybrook.
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 / Cllr Dermot Lacey ƒ Representing Pembroke-South Dock Ward on Dublin City Council


Scouting Must be Relevant or Redundant

Opening Address at the National Council of Scouting Ireland

“Scouting in Ireland needs to be relevant or redundant” according to the former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Dermot Lacey.

Addressing the  4th National Council of the new merged Scouting Ireland, Councillor Lacey said that “as Scouting begins a second century it needs to be central to the local communities and be a voice for and on behalf of young people.”

“Scouting – Boys and girls, young men and young women. Rich and Poor. North and South, City and Country. All backgrounds, all faiths – All Scouts. What an incredible success story – unequalled by any other
similar body in Ireland or abroad.”

“In my view one of the best things about the new Ireland is the vibrancy, honesty and confidence of our young people. They are full of enthusiasm. Eager to learn. Capable of greatness. And heavily influenced
in their formative years by what they see around them”

“And what do young people see today? They see that Ireland is a prosperous country with more retail space per head of population than any other country in Europe. Incredibly we have more mobile phones than we have people. As a nation, we are spending more on consumer goods than ever before. Despite working hard, or indeed perhaps because we are working harder, we have less time for the things that matter. “I’m alright Jack” as a motto for the modern Ireland has perhaps never been more apt. Scouting should challenge that attitude.

“In Scouting it is about, indeed it must be about, enthusing young people.  Helping them to learn the skills of citizenship and helping them to develop and grow as people.”

“In that sense can I suggest that Scouting today is more important than ever before. Quite simply Ireland needs Scouting. Young people deserve Scouting. The Scout method of Fun, Friendship, Challenge and Adventure for young people (and the young at heart) as I have said is as important today as it ever was.”

“Far from being an, out of date, old fashioned body, Scouting is a Movement whose time for renewal has come. A renewal and a growth that will come – provided it is bold enough and enthusiastic enough to grasp
the opportunities with both hands.”

“To borrow a phrase from the former PD Leader Michael Mc Dowell – Scouting needs to be relevant or redundant”.

Ireland needs a strong economy. More importantly it needs a strong sense of community. Scouting through its educational role plays a central role in paving the way for a strong economy.  It must also play a strong role in building a strong community.

Margaret Thatcher once said that “there is no such thing as society”. She was wrong. Society/community is where we build values and learn to treat each other with respect. Scouting is a good example of society in
microcosm. It is certainly a powerful place to instil the best of values.

It’s up to each of us to continue our work in our Groups in our Counties and in our communities and to continue the momentum of our great movement as it enters its second century. That work is simple – yet so
rewarding.

That work “To be important in the life of a child and young person”.

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