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

What’s New

Wed. 11th July 2018
Comhairle members attend launch of Action Plan for Online Safety, RHA Gallery, Dublin 2

Members of  Wicklow and Clare Comhairle were invited to attend the launch of the Government’s Action Plan on Online Safety because of their recent work in the area of cyber-safety for young people. You can read about Clare’s work here and Wicklow’s work here. Rachel and Marco from Clare were MCs for the event which was formally launched by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Sabrina and Adam from Wicklow were afterwards interviewed by Sandra Hurley, RTE News, about their recent cyber-bullying charter. You can read more about the launch here.

Fri. 22nd June 
Comhairle National Executive attend Aras an Uachtaráin Youth Garden Party

Five members of the Comhairle National Executive were invited to attend the annual Youth Garden Party on Friday 22nd June. What a fantastic day it was in every way, especially as the sun shone brightly all day. Josh from Louth, Cian from Galway County, Snejana from Kerry, Caoilfhinn from Westmeath and Dylan from Kilkenny were the lucky ones selected from their group. They had the opportunity to explore the beautiful state rooms of the house and to wander through the formal gardens. Musical entertainment was provided throughout the day, both in the grounds and in the marquee where everyone dined in the afternoon.

Three members had the honour of meeting the President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina who hosted the event. It was a very special day, one to remember for a long time to come.

Sat. 19th May, Youth Work Ireland offices
Visit by Ms Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, UN Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday 19th May the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive had the pleasure of presenting on their work to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the sale and sexual exploitation of children Maud de Boer-Buquicchio in Youth Work Ireland national office. Seven members of the group met as a sub-group on 10th May to put together their presentation and the following are the areas they discussed:

  • About Comhairle – history and context
  • Comhairle AGMs
  • Comhairle na nÓg National Executive
  • Dáil na nÓg
  • Who we work with – people and organisations
  • Our topics – locally and nationally
  • What we have done – National Executives past and present
  • What the current National Executive is working on – focus points 2018-19
  • Our aims and aspirations
  • Our key messages

You can download a PDF of the presentation here: Young People’s presentation to UN Special Rapporteur

To read more about the work of the National Executive click here: 

 

Thursday 12th April 2018: Collins Barracks, Dublin
Cruinniu consultation

Cruinniú is a creative festival for children in local communities across the country on Saturday, 23 June supported by Local Authorities and funded by Creative Ireland. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs Hub na nÓg was asked to support Creative Ireland and Dublin City Council in getting the views of children about the type of activities they would enjoy and benefit from at Cruinniú. On 12th April the Hub consulted with children from four primary schools in Dublin City and with young people from Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg.

Cruinniú will take place in communities all over the country. Events and activities will take place in the following settings:
· Library
· Theatre or hall
· Community centre
· Other indoor spaces (depending on what’s available in the community)
· Parks
· Other outdoor spaces (depending on what’s available in the community)

Hub na nÓg consulted with the children and young people on the type of activities children would enjoy and benefit from at Cruinniú. The young people had the opportunity to brainstorm all their creative ideas for each of the four settings & to design their own ideas for a creative and fun day in each of the spaces. Some of the young people were interviewed by Big O Media which will feed into a video piece on the entire project and its process.


Tuesday 20th February 2018: Heritage Council offices, Kilkenny

‘Our Heritage, Your Say’: a consultation with young people on the future of heritage in Ireland

The Heritage Council is currently putting together a five-year plan on heritage in Ireland and have invited Comhairle members to have their say on its future. They have asked the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) to collaborate with them in making sure that the voice of young people is heard and included in their Strategic Plan 2018-2022.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has carried out a consultation with young people to find out about the aspects of heritage that appeal most to young people, how we encourage young people to engage more with their heritage and how best to communicate with young people about their heritage.  They discussed those questions under the following aspects of heritage:

  1. Historical Sites (buildings and monuments)
  2. Native flora & fauna (animals, insects, plants and trees)
  3. Heritage Events (festivals, heritage open days etc…)
  4. Heritage in secondary school
  5. Museum objects and artefacts
  6. Customs and Traditions

Their views will be presented to the Board of the Heritage Council and will be taken into account when drafting the Heritage Council’s ‘Valuing People & Place: Strategic Plan 2018-2022’.

Wednesday 7th February:
Comhairle members presentation on Cyber Safety & Security to Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children & Youth Affairs

Members of Wicklow Comhairle na nÓg and from Clare Comhairle na nÓg  were invited to present at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Children & Youth Affairs on 7th Feb. They discussed their projects on Cyber Security & Safety for children & young people. Wicklow spoke about their cyber-bullying charter which was launched the day before on Safer Internet Day 6th Feb. Clare Comhairle spoke about their cyber safety programme, run in partnership with McAfee, and their sexting workshop, co-run with Samfés, the Icelandic equivalent of Comhairle, through an Erasmus+ exchange with Iceland.

Clare Comhairle last year hosted a “Sexting Peer Education Workshop”, based on an initiative by Samfés. Their presentation follows new research showing that almost half of Irish teenagers in their final year at school say they have participated in sexting, which is defined as the sharing of sexual text, video, and photographic content using phone, social networks, apps and other technologies. The study shows that sexting activity increased progressively through each year of second-level education.

The presenters also talked about the outcome of a Cyber Safety Workshop for students which was designed by McAfee, facilitated by Clare Youth Service and funded by Clare Local Development Company in 2016 and 2017. 752 young people, mainly first year students, took part in the programme in schools across Clare.

Monday 6th November 2017
Launch of ‘So, how was school today?’ survey report, Firhouse Community College

You can read the full report here:   So how was school today report

Key findings in poster format:        So How Was School Today Poster

Read the full press release here

Wed. 20th September 2017
Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin, 13:45 – 16:00

News: Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg host a Showcase event on Youth Homelessness on 20th September in beautiful Smock Alley. The event will be formally launched by Deputy Lord Mayor Deputy Áine Clancy.

17th June 2017, Woodquay Venue, Dublin
Youth mental health consultation

Helen McEntee TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, is chairing a National Taskforce on Youth Mental Health. The aim of the Taskforce is to provide national leadership on youth mental health and well-being to improve how the public, private, voluntary and community sectors work together. Minister McEntee has asked the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) to help her and the Taskforce members, in making sure that the voice of children and young people is heard and included in the final report to Government.

The Department of Children and Youth Affairs has carried out two consultations with children and young people in partnership with the Department of Health: one with primary children, and the second with Comhairle members on Saturday 17th June. The consultations provided an opportunity for young people to give their views on the factors that help and hurt their mental health. The young people were also asked for suggestions on how their mental health and well-being could be better supported.

30th January 2017, Croke Park
#LetsTalkBrexit: Exploring the implications for children and young people of the UK’s decision to leave the EU (Brexit)

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone TD, hosted a seminar to explore the impact of Brexit on the lives of children and young people. The Department of Children and Youth Affairs facilitated this seminar on January 30th in Croke Park. The seminar sought the views of children, young people and adults representing organisations that work with and on behalf of children and young people

A report of the day’s discussions is currently being prepared for the Government. Click here to read more.

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

July 2016
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) 
July 2016

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

Ireland 2016: State Ceremonial Event
Aras an Uachtarain, 15.016.2016

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 

Carlow-CNN-at-Dublin-Networking-Events-2014-004 241 182

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.

November 2015:

1449669747323Donegal 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.

October 2015:

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

lets-go-mental-LOGOComing 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. Get 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

IMG_2385

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:
Dublin City Comhairle are presented with Community & Recreation Centre Volunteer Award

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. Click here for more images.

October 2014:
Dublin City Comhairle na nÓg launches “Be a Cyber Buddy, not a Cyber Bully” booklet 

IMG_7212[1]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.

To find out more you can download a copy of the booklet Be a Cyber Buddy, Not a Cyber Bully or you can sign up to the cyber code here.

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

214 - CopyThe 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: Annual Information and Networking event for Organisers of Comhairle na nOg

National Executive members present to Joint Oireachtas  Committee on Health & Children: 29th May 2014

046An 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

http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=26320&&CatID=127 

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

Digital Strategy for schools: Digital Hub, Dublin 8
June 6th, 2014

Digital strategy information note for schools-page1A 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 to receive major European Award

sparks1Donegal 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…

DONEGAL YOUTH COUNCIL TO RECEIVE MAJOR EUROPEAN AWARD

And for more info on the work of Donegal Comhairle, take a look at their page on the Local Comhairle section of the website. 

April 2014:
Young People’s Regional Networking Events 2014

cover-001An 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:

Limerick:  Tuesday 15th April 2014   Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, Limerick. 
Limerick information pack 15.04.2014
Limerick Registration Form 15.04.2014

Sligo: Wednesday, 16th April 2014      CRIB, Rockwood Parade, Sligo
Sligo information pack 16.04.2014
Sligo Registration Form 16.04.2014

Dublin, Wed. 23rd and Thurs. 24th April, 2014   FilmBase, Curved St, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Dublin information pack 23 and 24.04.2014
Dublin Registration Form 23 and 24.04.2014

Parental permission form YPs Networking Events 2014-15

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

February 2013:
Launch of the Dáil na nÓg Delegate Report 2013

DailNanOgYouth2We 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’

DES PDF-001The 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.

Read the full report: Transition to 3rd Level Consultation Report 2013