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Eurodesk & Europe Direct Waterford announce nationwide photo competition to mark ‘Europe Day’ 2023

Young people in Waterford are invited to celebrate 50 years of EU membership in Ireland with photographs capturing the theme of ‘Peace and Unity’

Léargas, a not-for-profit organisation managing international and national exchange programmes across Ireland and Europe, is calling on young people aged 13 to 30 across Ireland to celebrate Europe Day this year by submitting photos capturing the theme of ‘Peace and Unity’ to a Photography Competition coordinated by Eurodesk.

Europe Day, which takes place each year on 9 May marks the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’, the proposal considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union. Ireland joined the EU in 1973.

Amy Doherty, Eurodesk Waterford and Sinead O’Higgins, Europe Direct Waterford launched the Photo competition last Tuesday on Europe Day in the Europe Direct Waterford Centre which is in Central Library in Waterford City. Central Library is also hosting the EU at 50 Exhibition Into Europe which is a Royal Irish Academy exhibition commissioned by EU50, Department of Foreign Affairs. It consists of 12 thematic panels which focus on various aspects of Ireland’s relationship with the European Union. The panels are available in both English and Irish. The exhibition will run until the end of May.

Eurodesk, which is administrated by Léargas in Ireland, is a free information service that operates in 36 European countries. Eurodesk Waterford provides information on EU-funded programmes and opportunities for young people to work, study, volunteer and travel in Europe and support young people to access such opportunities and is based in the Waterford & South Tipperary Community Youth Service in Manor Street, Waterford.

Europe Direct Waterford Europe is part of a community of 424 Europe Direct centres around Europe. Their purpose is to reinforce the important connection between the EU institutions and citizens, providing timely and factual information on European matter and events while coordinating with other EU networks in the region to ensure easier local access to information for citizens, organisations and businesses. Europe Direct Waterford is run from Central Library in Waterford City.

Léargas, Eurodesk and Europe Direct Waterford are inviting young people living locally aged 13-30 years old to take a picture using their own camera or phone camera responding to the theme of ‘Peace and Unity’ and what that means to them in Ireland and Europe in 2023. The competition opened as part of Europe Day on May 9th, and photographs will be accepted via email submission until midnight on the 28th of May 2023. Up for grabs is €500 worth of photography equipment within each age category.

Commenting, Eurodesk Waterford Youth Worker Amy Doherty said: “We have a strong partnership with Europe Direct Waterford and Waterford Libraries and we are looking forward to displaying the winning entries and holding the prizegiving in the Library. We are committed to developing our European opportunities for Young people in Waterford and WSTCYS recently obtained the Quality label through Erasmus+ which allows us to help young people Volunteer through fully funded projects with European Solidarity Corps. This year is the European Year of Skills and the skills obtained through volunteering in another country are immeasurable and increase the resilience and skillset of anyone that takes part”.

Léargas is committed to developing strong and lasting connections with our European neighbours through our programmes and exchange opportunities from sport to youth work, promoting personal and professional development through building confidence and better understanding of European cultures.

Announcing the photo competition, Eurodesk Ireland Co-ordinator, Malgorzata Fiedot-Davies said:

“Eurodesk Ireland is a hub for promoting the many opportunities for our young people in Europe. Peace and Unity in Europe remains, at its heart, about mutual understanding, respect for diversity and openness to other cultures. We are so excited to see what peace and unity for young people across Ireland in 2023 means as part of this photo competition, how that challenges them, interests them and sparks their creative minds.”

Sinead O’Higgins, Manager of Europe Direct Waterford said: “We are delighted to continue our work with Eurodesk Waterford, together we organised an excellent conference for over 300 young people last December to mark the European Year of Youth. We have exciting plans for later this year and hope that the young people of Waterford will visit the EU at 50 exhibition and perhaps be inspired for their photo entry”.

You can find out more and download an entry form at:


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