Ben O'Keeffe, chairman of South Tipp Foroige (left) presented Jack O'Meara, a member of the Clerihan club, with a special achievement award.
In an age when mental health, suicide and rural isolation are among a number of key issues identified by youth services across the country, those involved with Foroige say the importance of the youth organisation is now more evident than ever before.
Aisling Kennedy Gargalo, a member of Kilsheelan Foroige Club, believes that “it's a really important place for us because we actually meet each other rather than always being on our phones to each other.
"It is a safe place where we can be ourselves”.
Aisling was one of the speakers at a Foroige Recognition Event held at the South Tipp Arts Centre in Clonmel, when members and leaders from the organisation were recognised for their contributions to their communities.
Aisling Cunningham, a member of Clerihan Foroige Club was MC for the event.
Aisling spoke about her experiences in Foroige, placing emphasis on the skills she learned and opportunities that have been afforded her through her involvement in the organisation.
Paulina Maryniak from the Cosy Café Foroige Club in Carrick-on-Suir described her club as “a place to chill out and have the craic, listen to music and dance like there’s nobody there".
Paulina stressed that “no matter what the problem is, there is always someone to talk to and someone who just listens. It allows us to learn and grow together within a supportive and welcoming environment".
Jack O'Meara, a member of the Clerihan club was presented with a crystal vase in recognition of his leadership achievements and his community project, raising funds for the Bumblebee ambulances.
Jack gave an excellent presentation outlining the Foroige Leadership for Life Programme and his project.
Ben O'Keeffe, National Council representative, spoke about the value of Foroige as an incredibly supportive place for young people that helps to build confidence and support for each other.
He said it provided a warm, caring environment where young people were accepted and grew and developed through their involvement.
Special thanks are extended to the young people who attended, in particular the four speakers, Aisling, Jack, Aisling and Paulina.
Thanks are also extended to Ben O'Keeffe, the special guest and to all the leaders and members who planned the night.
The organisers are also grateful to Cliona Maher, manager of the South Tipperary Arts Centre who treated the members to a tour of their current exhibition.
Ann Davin-Murphy did an excellent job on the catering and Tom O'Meara on sound. Congratulations to all the members and leaders from South Tipperary Foróige for all their fantastic work throughout the year.
If you are interested in joining or setting up a Foróige club in your area contact Gail O’Sullivan, 086-231632, e-mail email@example.com