File photo: Frances Fitzgerald
Tanáiste Frances Fitzgerald is due to launch the 48th annual Lions District Convention at Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge at 9.30am this morning.
The conference will be followed by the District Governors Ball – a stylish black tie event at 7.30pm this evening.
Over 250 national and international delegates arrived in Kildare yesterday as Mayor Ivan Keatley precided over a civic reception at Kildare Village at 4.30pm.
Members of Ireland’s 108 Lions clubs have gathered in Newbridge for the event.
This is the Lions International Centenary Year.
Throughout the event, the delegates will formally approve a multi-faceted service programme to mark the centenary of the foundation of Lions International in 1917.
Projects already launched include raising up to €150,000 for a Guide Dogs breeding and training programme and a bid to make local communities ‘Better Places to Live Work and Play’ through the ‘Better Ireland Challenge’ project.
Speaking in advance of the Convention, Paul Allen, District Governor of Lions International, said that Lions work extends into many aspects of Irish life, through projects designed to serve local communities.
“In addition to our centennial projects, we will be continuing and often expanding programmes in health screening, care of the elderly, homelessness, education, youth development, suicide prevention and anti-bullying,” he said
Tanaiste Fitzgerald will be guest of honour at the convention, which features speakers such as Alison de Bruir of the UN Special Tribunal on Lebanon, Nils Orun from Lions Norway District, Judge Haynes Townsend from Lions International USA and Phil Nathan from Lions Multiple District (UK and Ireland).