Updated: 25/10/16 : 05:34:14
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Sligo Comhairle na nÓg welcomed John Lonergan to AGM

Sligo Comhairle na nÓg (Youth Council) managed by Foróige in partnership with the Mayo Sligo Leitrim ETB and Sligo County Council held their AGM in the Radisson Hotel, Ballincar last week.

The event welcomed 108 young people aged between 12 & 18 years from County Sligo. 12 of the County’s 13 Secondary Schools were represented as well as many youth groups, projects and training centres.

The purpose of the AGM was to hear the views of young people in the County on issues that are important to them in their everyday lives.

Guest speaker John Lonergan, former governor of Mountjoy Prison made the journey to Sligo to address the attendees. In a passionate and heart felt speech he urged the young people present to take every opportunity they are given to have their voices heard, engage in their community and to make a difference. He said each young person is unique so we should embrace this uniqueness and believe in your own abilities; we are all as good as the next person – not better, but just as good!

Set up as part of the National Children’s Strategy (2000), Comhairle na nÓg provides a forum for young people to discuss local and national issues of relevance to them.  The topics discussed this year were personal safety and social media. The discussion groups were set up in a way which provided opportunities for every young person to input on all topics. Recommendations were then put forward on each topic.

These recommendations will inform Sligo Comhairle na nÓg’s manifesto for the coming year.

               Sligo Comhairle na nÓg members with John Lonergan (seated front centre)

Collective Voice

A report on the information gathered at the AGM will be generated and forwarded to relevant agencies both locally and nationally. A selection process also took place to fill vacant seats on Sligo Comhairle na nÓg. Youth Councillors serve a two-year term on the Comhairle na nOg, during which they act as the collective voice of young people in County Sligo lobbying on a range of issues.

Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Cllr Hubert Keaney was present to congratulate the newly selected members and encouraged the youth council to keep up their good work.

Elaine Granaghan, Comhairle na nÓg Youth Officer with Foróige said “it was fantastic to see so many of Sligo’s Youth in attendance and to hear their views and ideas. Their participation on the day was excellent and some very useful information was recorded in the discussion groups.”

 Comhairle na nÓg members with Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Cllr Hubert Keaney (left)

Special thanks has been extended to all who helped out on the day including current members of Sligo Comhairle na nÓg, staff and volunteers from Foróige and Mayo Sligo Leitrim ETB and Sligo County Council. Thanks also to the staff of the Radisson Hotel for their professional and courteous service.