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Minister Humphreys and Minister O’Gorman Welcome Ireland’s First Rural Youth Assembly

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman TD, have welcomed the holding of Ireland’s first ever Rural Youth Assembly, which took place online today.

The Assembly gathered young people living in rural areas, aged between 12-18 years old, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing those growing up in Rural Ireland.

The idea for the Assembly was proposed by youth groups during the consultation process in the development of the Government’s five year rural policy, Our Rural Future.

The Rural Youth Assembly is the first step in the establishment of a National Youth Assembly, which is due to be launched next year by Minister O’Gorman.

Speaking about today’s Rural Youth Assembly, Minister Humphreys said, “today’s event was the first of its kind and provided a unique opportunity for young people right across the country to have their say on issues affecting Rural Ireland. It is important to hear directly from our young people as they are best placed to give their views on how to improve the quality of life for those growing up in our rural communities.”

I am delighted to have been able to engage directly with the participants on how we can revitalise Rural Ireland and make our communities better places to live, work, grow up in and raise a family. It also gave me an opportunity to tell them about ‘Our Rural Future’, which is already having a really positive impact in our rural towns and villages. I congratulate the young people who I met today and encourage them to continue to be active voices in their rural communities. They are the people who will make the difference.”

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman T.D. said, “today is a proud moment for me as Minister marking this first step in realising commitments we made in the Programme for Government 2020 to establish Youth Assemblies. I am very happy to support Minister Humphreys in seeing through this commitment from ‘Our Rural Future’ to include the voice of young people in policy-making. Young people made history today, as the first Rural Youth Assembly, which we aim to be an annual event. Today marks the beginning of a whole new chapter for our Government in hearing the voice of young people in Ireland.”

Minister Humphreys also acknowledged the contributions of the National Participation Office and Comhairle na nÓg to the Rural Youth Assembly, adding, “youth participation structures like the National Participation Office and Comhairle na nÓg allow young people in our communities to have a say in matters that affect them. I would like to thank these organisations for their work on the Rural Youth Assembly. I would also like to thank Minister O’Gorman and his Department for taking part and for their assistance in making today’s event a success.”

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