Dáil na nÓg
Dáil na nÓg is the national parliament for young people aged 12-18 years. The DCYA funds and oversees Dáil na nÓg, which is hosted biennially by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. Delegates are elected to Dáil na nÓg by the 34 Comhairle na nÓg.
Successive independent evaluations note that Dáil na nÓg has gone from strength to strength, with more challenging and contentious debate each year.
One representative from each Comhairle na nÓg is elected to the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive (formerly the Dáil na nÓg Council), which follows up on the recommendations from the Dáil and tries to make changes for young people in those areas. The National Executive, which has a term of office of two years, meets once a month and is facilitated and supported by the DCYA, who ensure that they get the opportunity to engage with appropriate Ministers, policy-makers, Oireachtas Committees and other decision-makers.
The role of the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive is:
- to identify key areas of work from the top three recommendations agreed at Dáil na nÓg;
- to conduct research into the issues identified;
- to meet with relevant Ministers, TDs, Government officials, policy makers and other stakeholders to seek their support in making changes for young people on the issues identified;
- to feed back to their Comhairle na nÓg on the work of the Council;
- to represent Dáil na nÓg at conferences and other events.
For full details please visit www.dailnanog.ie
Dáil na nÓg 2013
Dáil na nÓg 2013 took place on Friday, 15th November in Croke Park Dublin. The topic under discussion at the event was ‘mental health’. All 34 Comhairle na nÓg were invited to nominate a topic for national debate at Dáil na nÓg and ‘mental health’ was overwhelmingly the most popular topic. The top recommendation from the event was the need for a national mental health gathering for second level students, with music and events to improve attitudes towards mental health. Action on this recommendation will be followed-up by the Comhairle na nÓg National Executive, which is comprised of one young representative from each of the 34 Comhairle na nÓg. The Executive has a term of office of two years and is supported in its work by staff in the DCYA.
Dáil na nÓg Achievements
Some extremely important wins have been achieved by young people from successive Dáil na nÓg Councils in recent years, who have linked with adult decision-makers and brought to public attention issues of importance to the lives of young people. Their achievements include the following actions:
- Conducted a peer-led, evidenced based survey among 2,500 teenagers on body image in November 2011, which was analysed by researchers in UCC and was launched by young people and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in October 2012. (Find out more)
- Conducted a consultation with young people on reform of the Junior Cycle in partnership with the DCYA and the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), which was launched by the Ministers for Children and Youth Affairs and Education and Skills in July 2011 (Read Report). Findings from this consultation have been included in the NCCA Framework for reform of the Junior Cycle being implemented by the Minister for Education and Skills.
- Conducted the first-ever peer led, evidenced-based survey on implementation levels of SPHE and RSE among young people. The final report (Read Report), Life Skills Matter – Not just points: A Survey of Implementation of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in second-level schools highlighted a very low level of implementation of RSE in senior cycle. The Report was launched by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs in May 2010.
- Got a commitment that questions on sexual behaviour will be asked in the Health Behaviour of School-going Children (HBSC) Survey in Ireland in future years (2010). Sexual behaviour questions had not been included in the survey in Ireland up to that date.
- Influenced the Minister for Health and Children’s decision to commence the cervical cancer vaccine programme for 12 year-old girls (2010).
- Took part in the reference panel of young people involved in developing the National Office for Suicide Prevention ‘boy with the hoodie’ youth mental health advertisement and awareness campaign (2008-2009).
- Conducted the Fairsay campaign, which highlighted the negative portrayal of teenagers in the media and urged media organisations to ‘talk to teenagers’ rather than ‘talking about teenagers’ (2007- 2008).
Some reports on the work at Dáil na nÓg Council are available for download:
Dáil na nÓg 2011
Dáil na nÓg 2010
The issues of mental health and access to education was discussed.
Dáil na nÓg 2009
Download document on Work of Dáil na nÓg Council 2009
Download Life Skills Matter: Not just points
Download Dáil na nÓg 2009-2010 Final Evaluation EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Download Dáil na nÓg 2009-2010 Final Evaluation Report