The contribution of Laois people towards Concern Worldwide’s work over the last 50 years will be celebrated at a special event in Portlaoise on Thursday evening.
Ireland’s largest humanitarian aid agency marks its 50th anniversary this year and will launch its ‘50 Years Of Your Concern’ roadshow in Portlaoise on April 26.
The evening, which aims to recognise the contribution of local volunteers, will be held in the Portlaoise Parish Centre at St Peter and Paul’s Church from 8pm and will include a discussion about Concern’s work past and present.
Concern Worldwide was established in the Dublin home of John and Kay O’Loughlin Kennedy in 1968 in response to a devastating famine in Biafra, with people all over Ireland raising the equivalent of €4 million to send a shipload of vital aid to the war-torn country.
The organisation now works in 26 countries, providing emergency response and working with the world’s poorest people to transform their lives.
Concern’s pioneering role in the Irish aid sector was recognised by President Michael D Higgins with a presidential reception at Áras an Uachtaráin last month, with several long-serving Laois volunteers in attendance.
Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley will be joined for the discussion by local woman Alice Culliton, who worked for Concern overseas for several years.
Susan Finucane, a niece of founding members Fr Aengus and Jack Finucane and Concern’s Desk Officer for Burundi and Rwanda, will also be in attendance on the night.
“Local communities have always been at the heart of what we do and we’ve been very lucky to have many loyal supporters in Laois who have been exceptionally generous over the years,” explained Richard Dixon, Director of Public Affairs with Concern Worldwide.
“This event will give us a chance to recognise the special role that these volunteers play within Concern Worldwide and share stories that show the impact that those contributions have made all over the world.”
The ’50 Years Of Your Concern’ event is open to all and those wishing to attend can secure their place by calling Luke Kavanagh on 01-4791309 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.