Comhairle na nÓg 31 youth councils across the country
giving young people a voice on local services & policies

Rural Youth Assembly

Tuesday 16th November 2021




Press release

Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys and Minister O’Gorman welcome Ireland’s first Rural Youth Assembly

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, have welcomed the holding of Ireland’s first ever Rural Youth Assembly, which took place online.

The Assembly gathered young people living in rural areas, aged between 12-18 years old, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing those growing up in Rural Ireland. Continue reading here: 





35 young people participated from the following Comhairlí and youth organisations:
Blarney Girl Guides, Boherbue Girl Guides, CDYS (Cloyne Diocesan Youth Service), Cork County Comhairle, Fis na hÓige Theatre Group, Kerry, Foróige, Galway County Comhairle, Junior Chamber, KDYS (Kerry Diocesan Youth Service, Kildare Comhairle, Kilkenny Comhairle, Leitrim Comhairle, Limerick Comhairle, Limerick Youth Service, Longford Comhairle, Ardee Hub, Louth, Mayo Comhairle, NYCI – National Youth Council of Ireland, Roscommon Comhairle, SpunOut, YMCA Cork and Youth Work Ireland (National Youth Action Group)



‘Our Rural Future’, the new Rural Development Policy for 2021-2025, is the most ambitious and transformational policy for rural development in Ireland for decades, focusing on sustainability and optimising opportunities for individuals, communities, and businesses. The policy provides a framework to set out a vision for rural Ireland and contains over 150 measures for delivery over the lifetime of the policy, for both short-term recovery and longer-term development.

A key commitment in Our Rural Future, and one that is also referenced in the Programme for Government, is the establishment of a Rural Youth Assembly, which will allow young people in rural Ireland to identify and influence policy issues that impact on them and their futures. It is intended that the Rural Youth Assembly will convene annually, although its composition may change from year to year to potentially include different age cohorts.

The Assembly will build the leadership capacity of young people within their communities to better equip them to be able to contribute their thoughts and ideas on how to best pursue rural development and how to retain and attract young people to live and work in different rural areas. By hearing from young people and children, this project will allow insight into some of the concerns facing young people and assist in the identification of potential ameliorative actions.

Our Rural Future recognises the importance of having an inclusive policy-making process, one which includes representation of children and young people. The Rural Youth Assembly will act as a vehicle for dialogue and will assist in the development of proposals or recommendations which can be explored as possible measures for inclusion in future annual Work Programmes to be delivered under the Policy.


Youth Advisory Committee: 14th September 2021

To plan for the Rural Youth Assembly, a group of 8 Comhairle members were recruited for a Youth Advisory Committee to feed into the planning process, and to pilot the methodology that was used on the day. The young people involved in this group are from rurally isolated places, or from small to medium sized towns, as this issue particularly relevant to them.

Young people on the committee are from the following Comhairlí: Donegal, Mayo, Offaly, Tipperary