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Major themes emerge in President’s Being Young & Irish Report

Posted on 11/10/12, at 12:44

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MAJOR THEMES EMERGE IN PRESIDENT’S BEING YOUNG AND IRISH 2012 REPORT

Concerns about employment, the future of the economy, political reform, citizen participation and education for a full life are major priorities for almost 800 young people who contributed to the Being Young and Irish Report.

The Being Young and Irish Report captures the views and offers the vision of almost 800 young people on life for young people in Irish society today as well as their proposals for the future of this country.

The report, by the Centre for Social and Educational Research at Dublin Institute of Technology, quoting directly from young people’s contributions, covers topical and sometimes challenging issues in Irish society. It captures the spirit of the President’s regional workshops held during September where young people debated topics such as political accountability, social welfare provision, employment opportunities, education systems, gender equality and sexuality, abortion, mental health and suicide, civic participation and Irish identity and is the working document for the first of President Higgins’ seminars which is dedicated to the Being Young and Irish consultation.

Commenting on the report President Michael D. Higgins said,

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to the young people who joined workshops, or made contributions to the consultation. By so generously sharing of themselves – their hopes, their concerns, their vision and their vulnerabilities – and by reflecting with their peers on the future of Ireland, they demonstrate the active and inclusive citizenship that is both necessary and available to transform and renew Ireland in this period of great challenge and change.”

The report was produced by researchers from Dublin Institute of Technology (D.I.T.) for President Michael D. Higgins’ Being Young and Irish Implementation Group at Áras an Uachtaráin and it captures the views of 775 young people who took part in the President’s Being Young and Irish initiative between the 25th May and 29th September of this year. Young people contributed to Being Young and Irish either by emailing or posting contributions to the President or by attending one of four regional workshops that he hosted.

The D.I.T. research team analysed and coded the 445 online and postal contributions into the most common and recurring themes, as follows:

1. Issues of employment and unemployment, enterprise and sustainable economy, social security, concern with the current economy and crisis

2. Political Reform and accountability

3. Education for life in a holistic way

4. Equality in all its aspects

5. Involvement of Young People in institutional decision making

6. Being Positive in every way

7. Health including in particular mental health

8. Community, Civil Society and solidarity

9. Identity as Irish people including taking charge of cultural and language issues

These themes were also reflected in almost 300 contributions from young people at regional workshops in Dublin, Cork, Monaghan and Galway which took place on each of four Saturdays in September.

The report will make a major contribution to the “Take Charge of Change” Declaration that 100 young people, acting as representatives for the wider group of almost 800 who took part in Being Young and Irish 2012, will formulate and present today to the President, senior officials and decision formers at President Michael D. Higgins’ first Presidency Seminar taking place today in Áras an Uachtaráin.

The summary of the Being Young and Irish 2012 report in English and Irish is available to download and read now at www.president.ie

 

Notes to Editor:

For Being Young and Irish 2012 President Michael D. Higgins asked young people aged 17-26 years to respond to three questions:

1. What is your vision for Ireland?
2. What needs to happen to make your vision possible?
3. What can you and other young people do to achieve this vision?

Breakdown of thematic mentions

1. Vision (232 sources, i.e., mentioned in 232 submissions)
2. Employment, Enterprise, Social Security, Concern with Economy (174)
3. Political reform (163)
4. Education (162)
5. Equality (122)
6. Involve young people (106)
7. Suggestions [for action] (105)
8. Be positive (89)
9. Health (82)
10. Community and civil society (74)
11. Identity as Irish (52)