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

Rural Youth Assembly

BACKGROUND:

‘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 a Rural Youth Assembly in late October (dates to be confirmed), 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 will be 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