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Comhairle na nÓg logo (Link to Comhairle na nÓg website)

 

 What is Comhairle na nÓg

 

Comhairle na nÓg (www.comhairlenanog.ie) are local councils for children and young people (aged 12-17) that give them a voice on the development of local policies and services. They are the recognised national structure for participation by children and young people in decision-making in all 31 local authorities. They are supported by the DCYA Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund and DCYA Participation Officers. Since January 2011, the Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund is managed by Pobal in co-operation with DCYA. Analytical data on progress achieved under the Fund is collected by Pobal and evaluated by the DCYA as part of the application and reporting process. These data provide the DCYA with invaluable information on reviewing progress and identifying areas for improvement.

The Comhairle na nÓg gets young people’s voices heard in two ways: working on topics of importance to young people; and acting as a consultative forum for adult decision-makers in the locality. Every Comhairle na nÓg holds an Annual General Meeting, to which children and young people from local schools, youth clubs and other projects are invited, to work on identifying the topics of most importance to them. Attendance at the AGMs ranges from 80-150 young people.

A Comhairle na nÓg Committee is elected at the AGM and is responsible for working on the topics identified at the AGM and being the consultative forum that works with decision-makers.

Key statistical data gathered under the evaluation of the Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund 2015:

Number of young people across Ireland who attended Comhairle na nÓg AGMs

4,176

Total number of Comhairle na nÓg meetings held across the country

747

Average number of meetings of individual Comhairle na nÓg per annum

24

Total number of young people elected to Comharile na nÓg committees

1,070

Average number of young people elected to Comharile na nÓg committees

35

Percentage Female Membership of Comhairle na nÓg

60%

Percentage Male Membership of Comhairle na nÓg

40%

Percentage breakdown of Comhairle na nÓg membership 12 – 15 yrs

38%

Percentage breakdown of Comhairle na nÓg membership 16 – 18 yrs

62%

The monitoring and evaluation conducted by Pobal (2011-2015), highlight:

 

  • the importance of the rigorous funding criteria imposed by the DCYA;
  • the significant improvements in the operation of Comhairle na nÓg resulting from the Fund;
  • the value of the support, information and training provided by the three regional Participation Officers contracted by the DCYA through Foróige and Youth Work Ireland; and
  • the important role played by the Participation Officers in creating a strong link between Comhairle na nÓg and the DCYA, including the provision of information on expenditure under the Development Fund.
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    Comhairle na nÓg National Showcase

    The Comhairle na nÓg Showcase is a biennial event at which the young people from the 31 Comhairle na nÓg have the opportunity:

    - To strengthen the national profile of Comhairle na nÓg through a showcase of the work of the 31 Comhairle na nÓg.

    - To provide young people with the chance to network and share their experiences of what works in their Comhairle na nÓg.

    - To provide policy makers, service providers and local and national politicians with an opportunity to visit the showcase and experience first-hand the successes and value of Comhairle na nÓg.

    - Decision-makers from all over Ireland are invited to attend the Showcase and view the stands of the 31 Comhairle na nÓg.

     

    Comhairle na nÓg National Showcase 2016

     

    On the 24th November 2016, 458 children and young people from the 31 Comhairle na nÓg attended the 3rd Biennial Showcase event in Croke Park.
    Dr. Katherine Zappone T.D., Minister for Children and Youth Affairs attended the event and commended the work of all involved. The event also showcased the work of the 31 Comhairle na nÓg.
    The workshop discussions held at the National Showcase enabled young people from the 31 Comhairlí to discuss the opportunities and challenges they experience in Comhairle na nÓg, which included three stages of discussion:

    1)    young people’s experience of Comhairle na nÓg (likes, dislikes and things to improve)

    2)    suggested improvements to Comhairle na nÓg

    3)    a sharing of good practice, challenges and solutions

    Young people themselves facilitated the discussions at each stage of the event.

    The views expressed by the young people will be considered in the development of the Five Year Development Plan for Comhairle na nÓg, which will commence later in 2017. The priorities of the young people include, increasing school involvement and engagement with Comhairle na nÓg, improved organisation and management of meetings and attendance, funding issues, improving the quality and frequency of events and trips, and increased publicity to enhance the visibility of Comhairle na nÓg.


    Report of the Workshop Discussions at the Comhairle na nÓg Showcase 2016 Final

    Comhairle na nÓg National Showcase 2014

    20 November 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), which Ireland ratified in 1992. A major national event was hosted to celebrate 25 years of the UNCRC, which was combined with the second biennial Comhairle na nÓg Showcase celebrating the work of the then 34 Comhairle na nÓg. 500 young people aged 12-17 and 150 adult decision-makers attended the event.

    The Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD, and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr James Reilly TD, spoke at the event. The event featured a procession of 42 young people carrying individual placards displaying the articles of the UNCRC re-written in youth-friendly language, and read out by two teenage members of Comhairle na nÓg. The placards were displayed on the stage for the remainder of the event. Three young people spoke about how having their right to a voice realised through Comhairle na nÓg transformed their lives.

    To mark the importance of the occasion, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children was in session in the event venue, and young people made presentations to the members.

    During the afternoon a workshop session was held at which 500 young people discussed the opportunities and challenges they experience in having a say in decisions on issues that affect their lives, under seven themes that were identified by young people themselves. The themes discussed were:

    Theme

    Being myself

    Education and school

    Life at home

    Social life

    Community and facilities

    Transport and travel

    Health and wellbeing

    They voted on 'the need for young people to have a stronger voice in their education, including on policy, the running of schools, subject choice and curriculum' as the aspect of the lives of young people in which they most need a say.

    Delegates at Dáil na nÓg (national youth parliament) on 27 November 2015, further explored this theme and identified one area of action for change or improvement in the education system. The Comhairle na nÓg National Executive (2016-2017) is working with DCYA and the Department of Education and Skills to effect change or improvement on the top issue identified at Dáil na nÓg.

    For full details on Comhairle na nÓg  please visit www.comhairlenanog.ie

    Download Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund Annual Report 2015

     

    Download Evaluation Report: Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund 2008-2009 

    Download Report of the Comhairle na nÓg Development Fund 2007-2008

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