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Senator Kathryn Reilly opens youth engagement and leadership workshop

29 November, 2014

Sinn Fein’s Spokesperson on Youth Affairs, Senator Kathryn Reilly, opened a Youth engagement and leadership workshop for the party’s youngest elected representatives in Filmbase Studios Temple Bar today.

Speaking at the workshop today Senator Reilly said the appalling lack of real work opportunities for young people in Ireland has led to massive emigration.

Twelve of Sinn Fein’s newest young councillors, from Antrim to Cork, from Dublin to Galway participated in the 32 county event. 

Senator Kathryn Reilly said:

“Today was a great first step in shaping a co-ordinated effort for our younger elected reps to work on youth issues in the months ahead.

“We were deeply appreciative of our Basque comrade Igor Zulaika from Sortu’s International Department and his contributions on youth engagement in the Basque country.

“He worked through a set of practical strategies that his party Sortu, find effective in dealing with youth issues.

“It was also a privilege to have the Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland Ahmad Abdelrazek mark UN International Solidarity with Palestine Day with us, and of course to have our Vice President Mary Lou address the group.”

Deputy McDonald focussed her contribution on the critical need for consistent interactive communication between party reps, activists and all stakeholders in the field of youth affairs.

She emphasised the need to continue building strong networks among young councillors throughout the country and said that “the change we all want and need won’t happen without well thought, responsible, calculated risk–taking.”

She commended the group for day’s initiative and said she hoped the momentum continued. Finally, she said it was “up to all our young people as much as leadership to take a role in future strategy and change.”

Senator Kathryn Reilly said:

“The message delivered by every presentation and in every activity during the day was very clear.  Youth issues around the world and around our country are the same; they range from low-level educational skills to an appalling lack of real work opportunities for the young. This has led to rampant youth unemployment throughout Europe and high levels of emigration from Ireland.

“Such dysfunctional developments have often been accompanied by the social, medical and mental problems that such critical issues throw up.

“Sinn Fein’s new young councillors agree that we can become a strong and effective conduit for our nation’s youth.  To play an active role in the civic life of our local communities and to act as an effective voice for youth because, in Ireland, the voice of our youth has been silenced for far too long.” ENDS

Caption for attached photo:

Sinn Féin representatives taking part in a youth forum in Dublin show their support on the UN's annual "International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People".

Pictured (L-R) are: Cllr Patrice Hardy (Mid & East Antrim), Mayor Fintan Warfield (South Dublin County), Senator Kathryn Reilly, Cllr Emma Murphy (Dublin City), Cllr Stephen Cunningham (Cork City), Cllr Martin Reilly (Offaly), Cllr Mairéad Farrell (Galway City), Cllr Barry McNally (Fermanagh & Omagh District) and Cllr Lisa Marie Sheehy (Limerick City).

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