Comhairle na nÓg are local youth councils, which give children and young people the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies. There is a Comhairle na nÓg in every city and county. Comhairle na nÓg were set up under the National Children’s Strategy in the 34 City and County Development Boards to give children and young people a voice in the development of local services and policies.
Comhairlí na Óg are overseen and part-funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). The DCYA has the role in ensuring that children and young people in Ireland have a voice on issues that affect their lives. From their inception, Comhairle na nÓg received baseline funding from the former National Children’s Office. In 2007, the former OMCYA (now DCYA) set up the Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund to improve the operation of Comhairle na nÓg.
The reports of the independent evaluation of the Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund from 2007 to 2010 (see links to reports below) highlight the importance of the rigorous funding criteria imposed by the DCYA and the significant improvements in the operation Comhairle na nÓg resulting from the Fund, including:
- More regular and well organised meetings of Comhairle na nÓg.
- More regular involvement of young people in the development of local policies, strategies and services.
Increased success by young people in having an impact on improved facilities and services for young people at local level.
- More regular consultation with Comhairle na nÓg by adult decision-making bodies.
- Increased numbers of young people sitting on Strategic Policy Committees/Sports Partnerships/Mental Health
- Initiatives/Advisory Committees/Boards of Youth Organisations.
- Increased formal and sustained links with adult decision-makers, including Children’s Services Committees.
- An increased awareness among adult decision-makers of the importance of involving children and young people in decision-making.
- Young people engaging more actively and effectively in local campaigns and events aimed at improving the lives of their peers and communities.
Since January 2011, this fund is managed by Pobal in co-operation with DCYA.
Delegates from Comhairle na nÓg are elected to represent their local area at the annual Dáil na nÓg (national youth parliament). Many local authorities around the country are doing fantastic work with Comhairle na nÓg and involving children and young people in projects such as
- the way future recreation facilities and youth cafes will be developed and managed;
- the development of playgrounds;
- encouraging active citizenship;
- promoting road safety among teenagers;
- highlighting health and safety on school buses;
- developing conservation and heritage plans.
For more information please visit www.comhairlenanog.ie
Download Evaluation Report: Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund 2008-2009
Download Report of the Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund 2007-2008