Dr Katherine Zappone, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, today announced funding to ensure that local councils are listening to young voices in the communities they serve. The Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund 2018 is making €620,000 available to 31 Local Authorities.
Comhairle na nÓg are child and youth councils active in the 31 Local Authority areas of the country. The money must be used to work on young people’s topics and to allow local and national decision makers to consult with children and teenagers.
Announcing the payment Minister Zappone said
“It is the mission of my office to ensure that children and young people are respected as the citizens of today and not just the adults of tomorrow. I regard meaningful participation in decision-making by children and young people as critically important. They must be given a fair say on policies, rules and regulations which impact on their daily lives.”
Comhairle na nÓg members are active on a wide range of issues. These include promotion of the Irish language, promotion of alternative sports, sexual health and education, raising awareness of mental health issues, health and fitness for young people, homelessness, LGBTI awareness campaigns and challenging stereotypes.
Many local agencies consult with their Comhairle na nÓg to get the views of young people on the development of relevant services and policies, such as Local Economic Community Plans (LECPs) and local development strategies, heritage plans, play and recreation policies, policing plans and the location or type of sports facilities in the area. Comhairle na nÓg are also often asked for submissions on local policies or to take part in public consultations.