Thursday 8th July 2021
Roderic O’Gorman, T.D., Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth has launched the Comhairle na nÓg Five Year Development Plan at the annual Comhairle na nÓg Organisers Information Event.
Comhairle na nÓg is the structure across Ireland’s 31 local authority areas that gives children and young people a voice in decision-making on government policy, and gives rise to Ireland’s recognition as a world-leader on youth participation. This achievement has not gone unnoticed and yesterday Taoiseach, Micheál Martin T.D., took time to directly address the Comhairle na nÓg organisers, highlighting the importance of the work done by the Comhairlí. Speaking at the event An Taoiseach said:
“On the international stage, Ireland is seen as a country where children and young people’s views are listened to, respected and routinely taken on board in the public services offered to them – a place where they are seen as citizens of today and not just the adults of tomorrow. ”
The Comhairle na nÓg Five Year Development Plan, launched by Minister O’Gorman at the event, builds on the strengths of Comhairle na nÓg as a structure for allowing children and young people to have a say in decisions that affect them. The plan aims for Comhairle na nÓg to reach more children and young people, influence more decision-makers and deliver on Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), to make a true difference to the lives of young people.
Launching the Five Year Plan, Minister O’Gorman said,
“I have no doubt that this Comhairle na nÓg Five Year Development Plan will only assist the Comhairle go from strength to strength. Having a plan in place will help ensure that areas requiring development in Comhairle will get the space and attention needed. I am confident that this Plan will ensure that Comhairle remains relevant and becomes even more inclusive and visible.”
The Five Year Plan was developed through consultation with young people and with stakeholders under the guidance of a Steering Committee established specifically for this purpose.
The Plan is available online at http://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/140426/ad9e6fc8-d7b9-4d31-9996-4998bfaac3ed.pdf#page=null. A youth friendly version is under development and will be launched later this year.
Additional Funding for each Comhairle na nÓg
Funding and resourcing of Comhairle na nÓg is a key element in the Comhairle na nÓg Five Year Development Plan. Comhairle na nÓg organisers welcomed Minister O’Gorman’s announcement that additional funding of €5,000 is being made available to each Comhairle to start implementing the plan. In addition, an increase in annual funding through Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund, from 2022 onwards, will result in an increased funding of approximately 25% for each Comahirlí.