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Social issues, Social sciences
FOREWORD BY PRESIDENT MICHAEL D. HIGGINS
I initiated the ‘Being Young and Irish’ consultation with the young people of Ireland because of my belief that we are in a period of immense change. How that change is interpreted and how we as citizens respond is crucial to our present challenging circumstances. Our response will define our future.
In the change that takes place, the creativity, the imagination, the decencies, of young people must have an opportunity of being expressed. To be in charge of change is the challenge that faces all of us citizens in Ireland, in Europe, in our world.
‘Being Young and Irish’ is an opportunity for young people to build a vision of the Irishness which they see as best for all of us in our different generations, now and for the future.
In taking part in ‘Being Young and Irish’ our young people joined those fellow humans all over the world who believe that a new world with the stamp of humanity can be created.
This report sets out the results of a consultation which took place in Ireland between May 25th and Sept. 29th with young people aged 17 – 26. Young people were invited to share their views on the future of Ireland in writing, through prose or poetry, or through music, or video. In addition, four regional workshops were held in Dublin, Monaghan, Cork and Galway. I would like to say how genuinely impressed and moved I have been by all those I met at the regional workshops, and by the contributions received here in Áras an Uachtaráin.
I would like to thank the researchers at Dublin Institute of Technology for collating the findings of the consultation in the report which follows. I would also like to thank all those who volunteered their time, energy and skills to ‘Being Young and Irish’. Most important of all, 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 necessary to transform and renew Ireland in this period of great challenge and change.
Michael D. Higgins
Uachtaráin na hÉireann
President of Ireland
Lalor, K., Bowden, M., Griffin, K., McElvaney, R., Quinn, B., Kelleher, C. (2012). Take charge of change: Being young and Irish, Full Report. Dublin: Áras an Uachtaráin.