Dáil Éireann - Volume 531 - 22 February, 2001

Written Answers. - International Year of the Volunteer.

89. Dr. Upton asked the Minister for Finance if he will take a day's leave to carry out voluntary work in recognition of this year as the International Year of the Volunteer; if he will allow all staff in his Department to take a day off on a similar basis; the steps he will take to pay tribute to the International Year of the Volunteer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5342/01]

Minister for Finance (Mr. McCreevy): I welcome the United Nations' International Year of the Volunteer initiative and am prepared to facilitate any officials from my Department who wish to participate in related voluntary activities subject to the terms of circular 2/76 on special leave. Special leave without pay is available to civil servants for a number of purposes including service with voluntary organisations engaged in community welfare, charitable and other voluntary initiatives. Any application for special leave without pay will be examined in the context of the existing terms of circular 2/76 on special leave and the merits of the particular case. For my own [445] part, I am very much involved with voluntary organisations outside of normal working hours – launches, addresses, participation at fund-raising activities, my own local clinics, etc. – that take up substantially more than one day of my personal time every year.