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Ministers Welcome Second Sitting of Ireland’s 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 second sitting of the national Rural Youth Assembly.

The Assembly gathered approximately 50 young people, aged between 12-24 years, at Collins Barracks in Dublin to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing young people growing up in rural Ireland.

The initiative is an opportunity for Government to hear the concerns and aspirations of young people from across rural Ireland and ensure their voices are heard as a key part of the rural development policy process.

The establishment of the Assembly in 2021 delivered on a commitment in Our Rural Future, the Government’s rural strategy.

The idea to host an annual event was proposed by youth groups themselves during the policy consultation process, and this Rural Youth Assembly has now been incorporated into a wider programme of National Youth Assembly events hosted by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.

Minister Humphreys said, “it was a privilege for me to welcome the young people who attended the Assembly and to thank them wholeheartedly for their participation in what was a really informative discussion. The hugely diverse group in attendance reflected the wide variety of issues of importance to young people of all ages and from all parts of the country. It is vitally important that our young people have a voice in decisions which affect them in order that those decisions help support rural areas which offer young people the potential to plan for a future that allows them remain in, or return to, their local communities to live, work and raise their families.”

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth Roderic O’Gorman T.D. said, “through the National Rural Youth Assembly, we can ensure that young voices remain at the heart of rural development. This is an important step forward for the Government, not just in asking for your views when we are developing policy but also when we are deciding on the priorities and work programmes that come out of those policies. I look forward to meeting with the Assembly to hear about what they want to see from their Government.”

Minister Humphreys also acknowledged the contributions of Foróige and Comhairle na nÓg to the Rural Youth Assembly, adding, “youth organisations like Foróige and Comhairle na nÓg work tirelessly on behalf of young people in our rural communities and I would like to thank them for their work on this 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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