Your Country, Your Call - Creativity to be applauded

Your Country, Your Call, was a competition designed to encourage the thinking and creativity of people in order to come up with a couple of major proposals that would help transform our economy by generating jobs and creating opportunities. The competition attracted 9,000 submissions.

The whole thing was the brainchild of Dr Martin McAleese, husband of the president. The entries were whittled down to 20 semi-finalists, and then to five finalists, with the two winning proposals being announced last evening. The chairman of the judging panel, former EU commissioner David Byrne, noted there were many “outstanding proposals” that made it to the final stages and those that did not were still of real merit. The two winners — who received €100,000 each and will get the backing of a €500,000 grant to implement their proposals — were screenwriter and digital media consultant Neil Leyden, and the combination of Cianán Clancy and Colm Mac Fhlannacha. The two projects, which have digital applications, would aim at generating about 9,000 jobs directly.

Such competitions should be encouraged, because they can boost employment, and spur people to engage in participatory democracy. People with practical experience can often inspire major advances, if given the right opportunity.


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