Over 70 young people from schools across the county gathered in the Clayton Hotel, Dublin Airport last Wednesday for the Fingal Comhairle na nÓg Annual General Meeting and Elections 2016/2018.
On the day, Fingal Youth Councillors and prospective representatives were joined by the Deputy Mayor of Fingal, Councillor Eithne Loftus and Fingal County Council’s Chief Executive, Paul Reid.
Commenting on the level of interest and enthusiasm shown by those attending, Chief Executive Fingal County Council, Paul Reid said: “It's great to meet society’s future leaders at today’s Comhairle na nÓg event and to not only hear their views on current issues but also how they have gone about addressing some of these issues.”
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Eithne Loftus outlined the work of Fingal County Council including the work of the Council’s Public Libraries, Arts Office, Sports Development Office and Housing Department to give Comhairle members a flavour of the work of the Council and the positive impact that this work can have on the lives of young people in Fingal. Cllr. Loftus also spoke about the work the Council does with other agencies like Jigsaw, Foróige, Crosscare and the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown. She told young people about her own experience as a councillor, recommending that young people consider working in public life as a career path for the future
Closing her speech, Cllr Loftus said: “I was delighted to be part of the 2016/2018 elections of Fingal Youth Councillors. It is so heartening to see so many young people actively engaged in matters of concern to them. I know our future is in good hands.”
Chair of the current Fingal Comhairle na nÓg Daria Jonisz told delegates about the work of the Youth Council over the period 2014 to 2016. Thanking Youth Councillors for all their work and commitment to the Fingal Youth Council, Daria said: “I had the privilege of being nominated by my peers as Chair of Fingal Comhairle Na nÓg for the last two years. I wish all of the new Comhairle the very best going forward”.
Charles Adejan spoke about the First Aid Project that they developed and rolled out as a pilot in Fingal Community College and Emer O Mahony also spoke about the LGBT Initiative they had undertaken to raise awareness and help create a safe and inclusive environment for young people in Fingal.
Deputy Mayor of Fingal County Council, Councillor Eithne Loftus and Chief Executive of Fingal County Council, Paul Reid with delegates from Fingal Comhairle Na nÓg at the AGM/Elections 2016/2018
During the day’s event, young people from across the county put forward their names for election. Fingal Council Council Staff and Youth Development Workers from Foróige-Blanchardstown and Crosscare-Swords/Baldoyle oversaw the election process. Twenty four new councillors were elected to represent the voice of young people in Fingal. Outgoing Youth Councillors wished the new councillors well for the future.
The new Youth Council discussed topics around Mental Health Issues such as cyber bullying, depression, eating disorders and many more during the course of the day’s event. Over the next two years they will work to develop a programme of actions which they will deliver on behalf of, and in the name of young people of Fingal.