13th October, Dept of Education and Skills, Dublin 1
National consultation on Learning to make the world a better and more equal place: Education for Sustainable Development
The Department of Education and Skills and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, recently held a consultation to get the views of children and young people about what they learn that motivates them to make the world a better place. Education for Sustainable Development is about learning to make the world a better place. It’s about opening children and young people’s eyes and minds to the realities of the world, and awakening them to bring about a world of greater justice, equality and human rights – at home, in the community and in the wider world. It’s also about protecting the environment and ensuring that everyone is treated fairly in Ireland and all over the world.
The Department of Education and Skills will report on the findings of this consultation process at the National Forum on Education for Sustainable Development, which is due to take place on 1st December 2016. You can find out more and view more pics from the day here:
Dublin City Comhairle launch their UNESCO Biosphere video
This video was made by the creative young people of Dublin City’s Comhairle na nÓg to tell the story of Dublin Bay and its UNESCO Biosphere in their own words. www.dublinbaybiosphere.ie
First annual report on implementation of the National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making (2015-2020)
This Strategy was published in June 2015 and includes an action plan with individual and shared commitments by key Government Departments and Agencies, including the DCYA.
This first report presents the progress made by all Government Departments and Agencies in implementing commitments in the Strategy for 2015. Additional commitments have been agreed for 2016 and 2017, reports of which will be circulated each year.
The National Strategy on Children and Young People’s Participation in Decision-making (2015-2020) is one of the constituent strategies under Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: The National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (2014-2020).
Click here to download: Annual report on implementation of National Children’s Strategy
Hundreds of children and young people from Comhairle na nÓg, 32 primary schools, Irish Wheelchair Assocation and EPIC attended and participated in a special ceremonial event at Áras an Uachtaráin to remember the 40 children who died in the Easter Rising and to share their vision for Ireland. Click here to read more:
Consultations on cyber-crime
Ashling Hotel, 27th and 28th April 2016
The purpose of the consultations was to get the views of young people age 13 to 17 on their experience of on-line activity, and in particular their experience of cyber-crime. The consultations were conducted by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) Participation Team in partnership with the Law Reform Commission, who are currently reviewing the law in Ireland on cyber-crime.
The views of the young people participating in this consultation will contribute to the Law Reform Commission’s review of the law in Ireland on cyber-crime affecting personal safety, privacy and cyber-bullying.
Young Comhairle Members’ Networking Events 2016: 21st, 22nd and 30th March.
Limerick, Sligo and Dublin
An important part of the annual Comhairle na nÓg programme are the Young Comhairle Members’ Regional Networking Events. These comprise three regional events: one in Limerick, one in Sligo and one in Dublin. The purpose of these events is to allow members of Comhairle na nÓg from all over the country to network with other Comhairlí in a very informal way. They encourage young Comhairle members to link in and engage with each other, and learn from each other by sharing ideas. It affords them the opportunity to discuss their topics: what they’re currently working on, what’s working well / not so well, and examine where their Comhairle is at present. Click here for link to the 2016 page with full details of dates and venues:
Donegal Comhairle were selected in November 2015 as one of the five national winners of the Coca Cola Thank You Fund for their Shake Up Sports Initiative. This scheme provides taster sessions for young people interested in alternative sports but what’s extra-special about it is that it’s been developed by young people for young people. For media coverage click here:
Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg members made this video to encourage young people to make a submission to the new Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022
Let’s Go Mental National launch: 24th June. Regional events – June to October 2015
Coming to a town near you in 2015! Let’s Go Mental is a nationwide campaign to promote positive mental health in young people. This campaign has been developed by teenagers for teenagers and involves a series of 31 events in every local authority area to promote positive mental health through music, sport, the arts and other fun activities. The Let’s Go Mental events are being organised and run by the 31 Comhairle na nÓg and will take place all over the country from May to October 2015. Click here for calendar of regional events: Calendar of Lets Go Mental events
The national launch of Let’s Go Mental took place in Dublin on Wednesday 24th June. Here is our video from the day. And for more info on the campaign here:
20th May 2015
Mental Health Symposium: Youth Work Ireland
Three of the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive members will be presenting on their Let’s Go Mental campaign at this symposium.
Link to PDF of their presentation as follows: LGM presentation for YWI mental health symposium
28th April 2015
Annual Information & Networking day for organisers of Comhairle na nÓg
Key discussion points for the 2015 Annual Information & Networking day for organisers of Comhairle na nÓg were as follows:
- Benefits of an effective Comhairle na nÓg Steering Committee
- Consolidating Comhairle na nÓg in local structures
- Ireland 2016: series of consultations with young people
To highlight the benefits of an effective Comhairle na nÓg Steering Committee, Department of Children and Youth Affairs have funded a video which will serve as a resource to coordinators and organisers of Comhairle na nÓg. The video highlights some really good examples of how effective a Steering Committee can be and focuses on the examples of three Comhairlí: Carlow, Donegal and Roscommon. In this video, they discuss, among other things, the structure of their steering committee, how they engage key agencies to come on board, and what advice they would offer to other Comhairlí who are experiencing challenges in getting the right people around the table, or would like to engage the help of key local stakeholders to progress their topics.
Thursday 16th April:
Meeting of two National Executive members with Ceann Comhairle and our link TDs and senators
Two members of the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive, Lily Cheung, Monaghan, and Garreth O’Connor, Fingal, met with Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett and three of our five link TDs and senators, John Lyons, TD; Senator Averil Power and Senator Kathryn Reilly in Leinster House on Thurs 16th April to talk to them about plans for the Let’s Go Mental nationwide campaign. Their presentation was extremely well received and all present were very interested in getting involved with their local event and offered support in any way they could.
14th February 2015:
Growing up in Ireland consultation
Comhairle members from all over Ireland recently took part in a phase of the Growing up in Ireland consultation in Dublin.Growing Up in Ireland is a government Study and is the largest study of its kind ever carried out in Ireland. The results of the study are being used by the Government to develop policies to support and help children and young people in Ireland. This information will be used for the Growing Up in Ireland Study to ensure that the Study includes questions about the reality of life for 17-year-olds in Ireland.
What happened on the day?
In the morning, there was an open space consultation on the things that help 17-year-olds and the things that cause them worry or concern. In the afternoon, researchers carried out focus groups with participants on how to present sensitive issues in a questionnaire survey to 17-year-olds on the following topics:
1. young people’s experience of the education system, including supports or problems in school, getting help and advice on planning for life and making the transition from school to work or college;
2. sexual orientation, sexual behaviour and health;
3. mental health, including self-harm;
4. risky behaviours such as drug-taking; alcohol consumption; smoking and anti-social behaviour.
Please find below some photos from the consultation:
9th January 2015:
On the 9th January 2015 in the Mansion House, Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg were presented with a Community & Recreation Centre Volunteer Award by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr. Christy Burke, in recognition for their work to make the 13 recreation centres of Dublin City more youth friendly. They wrote a report with recommendations on how these centres can be improved for young people in Dublin City. To date, three centres (East Wall, Sherriff Street and Pearse Street) have been renovated and the recommendations made by the young people in Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg have been implemented. Work is ongoing in the other 10 recreation centres and will be completed early this year.
October 20th and 21st: Consultation on the person specification for the Ombudsman for Children
The process of recruiting a new Ombudsman for Children has commenced.
Comhairle na nÓg members were recently involved in the process of recruiting a new Ombudsman for Children. Children and young people will be involved throughout this recruitment process, and on 20th and 21st October, over 80 young people, ranging from 8 – 17 were involved in a consultation process to come up with the ideal qualities for the person specification for the new Ombudsman for Children
Workshops were hosted by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). Separate consultation sessions were conducted: one for younger children (7-12) from primary schools, and older children (13-17), with an attendance of approximately 40 participants at each workshop. At these workshops we ensured a good gender, race, ability and socio-economic mix, with a particular focus on seldom-heard children and young people. Young people were selected through the Irish Primary Principals Network, Comhairle na nÓg and non-government organisations that work with children and young people such as EPIC, Exchange House and the Irish Wheelchair Association.
During the consultation workshops, a smaller panel of 10 or 12 children and young people were selected to become directly involved in the recruitment process. The DCYA will partner with the Public Appointment Service in involving the panel of children and young people in development of the advertisement for the post of Ombudsman for Children and in the receipt of appropriate recruitment training. The panel of children and young people will be involved in role play sessions with shortlisted candidates and in the interview process.
Selection of photos below. For more images click here:
October 2014: Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg launches “Be a Cyber Buddy, not a Cyber Bully” booklet
On the 7th October Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg launched their booklet on cyber bullying, called “Be a cyber buddy, not a cyber bully” in The Atrium, Civic Offices. The booklet was formally launched by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke.
In the booklet young people are asked to sign the cyber code and become a cyber buddy. To become a cyber buddy young people are encouraged to never cyber bully and be aware of how they present themselves online and to report any cyber bullying they encounter.
September 2014: Waterford Comhairle na nÓg launches Body Image campaign
11th September 2014 sees the launch of Waterford Comhairle na nÓg’s latest project the #WhatIsBeauty campaign. The campaign looks at the Body Image pressures that young people face growing up today. The campaign consists of three themed videos, posters and an activity sheet which, when used together, acts as a resource pack for SPHE teachers and youth workers. Comhairle members have spent the last nine months planning and developing the #whatIsBeauty campaign.
The three videos below tackle issues such as low self-esteem, manufactured beauty, loneliness, hair & make-up, relationships and the cost of it all.
To my younger self
Dear my past self
What is Beauty?
Annual Information and Networking event for Organisers of Comhairle na nOg
The Annual Information and Networking event for Organisers of Comhairle na nOg took place in the Gresham Hotel, Dublin, on May 7th 2014. This year the focus was on linking with schools, and offering guidance on working on the topic of Mental Health.
Click here to read full report from the day:
National Executive members present to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health & Children: 29th May 2014
An exciting day was had today. Four members of the National Executive were invited by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health & Children to present on their work. Speakers were Kayleigh Power, Galway City Comhairle; Cillian Byrne, Meath Comhairle; Becky O’Connell, Waterford City Comhairle and Bertie Nesirky, Tipperary Comhairle. They spoke about what Comhairle na nÓg is and what they, as National Executive members, have been working on since they commenced their term in Jan. 2014. They spoke about the Showcase event coming up in November and invited the Committee to attend on the day. They spoke about the workings of Dáil na nÓg and about their recommendation and work on this to date. They referred to the support of the Steering Committee of mental health experts and of the Oireachtas team, and how they were looking forward to working with them more closely in the future, as they make progress on their mental health gathering. Finally they discussed the Better Outcomes, Brighter Futures: National Policy Framework for Children and Young People (2014-20). At the end of the presentations, there was a Q&A session with the TDs and senators present. To watch, please click on link below
The four were also lucky enough to meet with our newly elected Minister for Children & Youth Affairs Charlie Flanagan.
Youth Mental Health Conference, Drumshambo, Leitrim, 24.05.2014
Neither One Direction nor election counts stood in the way of over 50 young people from Leitrim and Antrim when they came together to discuss youth mental health in the Lough Allen Hotel, Drumshambo on Saturday 24th May. Members of Comhairle na nÓg Liatroma and Carrickfergus Youth Forum spent the day exploring issues surrounding and solutions to good mental health as well as enjoying activities designed to encourage relaxation and team-building. This Cross-border conference was funded by Leitrim County Council, through funding that it receives from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
Click here for press release: Press Release Final Leitrim Observer 30 05 14 Cna nOg
June 6th, 2014
A new digital strategy for schools is being developed by the Department of Education & Skills. The purpose of the strategy is to set out a plan to support teaching and learning in primary and post primary schools for the next three to five years and to ensure that we realise the potential of ICT in schools and prepare young people to live, learn and work in the 21st century. In partnership with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, it is intended to hold workshops with students at both primary and post primary level. Recruitment of second-level students will be through Comhairle na nÓg. For more information, click on link above, or the sidebar menu on the left.
Donegal Youth Council were informed in April this year that they are to receive a major European Award in recognition for one of their major projects from last year. The 2013 SPARKS Mental Health Roadshow was selected as the 2014 winner of the Assembly of European Regions “Most Youth Friendly European Region” Special Award.
Click on link below for further info…
And for more info on the work of Donegal Comhairle, take a look at their page on the Local Comhairle section of the website.
An important part of the annual Comhairle na nÓg programme are the Young People’s Regional Networking Events. These comprise four regional events: one in Limerick, one in Sligo and two in Dublin. The purpose of these events is to allow members of Comhairle na nÓg from all over the country to network with other Comhairlí in a very informal way. They allow young Comhairle members to link in and engage with each other, and learn from each other by sharing ideas. It affords them the opportunity to discuss their topics: what they’re currently working on, what’s working well / not so well, and examine where their Comhairle is at present.
Click here for information and report on last year’s events:
Comhairle na nOg Networking Events 2013
Each coordinator is invited to select or elect four young members from their Comhairle to attend at a pre-selected regional event. Click on the links below to download registration forms, information packs and parental permission forms:
Deadline for receipt of forms:
Registration forms need to be completed and returned by 1st April 2014
Parental permission forms need to be completed and returned by 8th April 2014
We are delighted to launch the Dáil na nÓg Delegate Guide 2013. It includes a rundown of all the action from the day in November 2013 in Croke Park, including Minister Fitzgerald’s opening address, the group discussions & methodologies, the results of the voting, i.e. the final recommendation, and the Questions and Answers session. You will also find information on the work of the National Executive 2012-13 and details of the fantastic legacy they’ve left behind. We hope you enjoy reading it and that it brings back some great memories of a fun day!
Click link below to read the full report.
February 2014: Dail na nOg Delegate report 2013
Launch of the report on ‘Supporting a Better Transition from Second Level to higher education’
The findings in this report are based on a one-day consultation event with 5th and 6th year students on ‘transition reform’, hosted by the Department of Education and Skills on 30th October 2013. The consultation centered around the transition of students from second-level into higher education and looked at how that may be improved.
Fifty six 5th and 6th year students, predominantly nominated through Comhairle na nÓg, participated in the consultation event. The participants strongly welcomed the opportunity to contribute to a discussion on an issue about which they feel so passionately and which has such an impact on their lives. The consultation employed participative practices to enable the young people to self-select the themes for discussion in the morning session and to ensure their views were at the fore.
Click link below to read the full report.