Seamus Healy, TD, with a group from Youth Work Ireland Tipperary: Tim Vos, Pauline Strappe, Leon Egan, Devin Rusk, Lauren Rusk, Fintan O'Dwyer.
Tipperary students attended the National Youth Showcase entitled ‘Youth Work Changes Lives’ which took place in the Mansion House, Dublin recently.
The showcase brought together over 350 young people representing every constituency in Ireland to celebrate the value, diversity and vitality of youth work in Ireland.
A key message emerging from the day was that hundreds of thousands of young people and their communities take part in and benefit from youth work, and that we need to sustain and increase support for youth work to meet the needs of our growing youth population.
The event – organised by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – was opened by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, TD and gave young people from around Ireland the opportunity to speak directly to public representatives and share with them first-hand what they do, what they learn and the benefits of youth work for them and their local communities.
Minister Zappone said: “My mission is to ensure that young voices are heard. By bringing young people from across the country to the home of the first Dáil we are giving them the opportunity to engage directly with politicians. They will be able to set out their vision for their communities, counties and our country.”
Deputy Mattie McGrath with Fintan O'Dwyer.
Also speaking at the event, Ian Power, President of the NYCI said: “This event showcases the exceptional quality of youth work happening throughout Ireland, and celebrates the contribution of young people to Irish society and our local communities.”
“The youth work sector benefits over 380,000 young people each year, supported by the efforts of 1,400 professional staff and 40,000 passionate volunteers, and yet much of this good work goes largely unnoticed. That’s why today’s event ‘Youth Work Changes Lives’ is so important.
“It is really important that young people - particularly at grassroots level – get the chance to reach out and engage with local politicians, TDs, Senators and Councillors.
“When politicians hear, see and experience the contribution and value of youth work in their local communities, particularly when expressed by young people themselves, it sends a very powerful message,” concluded Mr Power.
The event included over 300 young people at 39 stands each representing their constituency and meeting their local politicians. There were also performances from:
• Bui Bolg, Wexford
• St Agnes Youth Orchestra, Crumlin
• Limerick Youth Theatre
• Galway Community Circus
• Company B/Michael Gillick, Dublin
• Young, Paperless and Powerful
• Sinead Pokall, Galway
• Dublin Youth Choir
• SYS Studios (Swan Youth Service), North Strand/North Wall