TWO THOUSAND TWO hundred people who signed up to become goodwill ambassadors in Dublin are to be sent forward for Garda vetting in the coming weeks.
The organisers of the City of a Thousand Welcomes project say they hoped that 1,000 people would apply over a three month period, but in fact more than 2,000 applied in just three weeks. The volunteer ambassadors will be responsible for meeting tourists in the city centre, taking them out for a pint or a cuppa, and telling them all about Dublin.
Spokesperson Simon O’Connor told TheJournal.ie that they’re confident that the Garda vetting process won’t delay the scheme, despite recent reports that there can be a ten week delay in processing applications for clearance to work or volunteer in certain areas. He says they always knew that vetting would be a reality, that they have been working with the Gardaí on the issue and that there is nothing severe about the process.
O’Connor also says that they expect an “inevitable falloff of people who decide they’re not going to do it”:
That’s why we’re glad that so many people applied, because we really do need a thousand people, and now we’re sure that we’re going to get that.
Tourists will be offered the chance to sign up for the scheme from mid May, while the first ambassadors will be on the streets from 16 June. Tourists will choose one of three meeting slots a day. They will then meet with an ambassador in the City of a Thousand Welcomes offices on St. Stephen’s Green, and from there they’ll head off for a free pint or cup of tea.
The Stephen’s Green premises are also being turned into a new museum for Dublin city. The Little Museum of Dublin will occupy the first floor of the Georgian house and reflects on life in Dublin in the 20th century. Volunteers are also being sought to get involved in the running and curating of exhibits.