President calls for vision of youth


President Michael D Higgins today unveiled a new initiative aimed at encouraging young Irish people at home and abroad to offer ideas related to how they imagine Ireland’s future.

Speaking as he officially announced Being Young and Irish, the first in a series of presidency seminars, President Higgins said he had promised in his inauguration speech to host a number of such events to “reflect and explore themes that were important to the shared life” of the Irish people.

“I also said on that occasion that we must together build a new citizenship for which we need a new discourse,” he told attendees, who included representatives from various youth organisations, the GAA, and political party youth wings.

“We must seek to build together an active, inclusive citizenship: based on participation, equality, respect for all and the flowering of creativity in all its forms. A confident people is our hope, a people at ease with itself, a people that grasps the deep meaning of the proverb ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’ – our strength lies in our common weal – our social solidarity.”

At Áras an Uachtaráin this morning, the President invited young people, aged 17 to 26, to use whatever media they preferred to put forward their vision for Ireland. He mentioned as examples narrative, song, poetry, video or audio recordings.

He suggested that in their submission to or via post to Áras an Uachtaráin, participants address the following questions:

  • What is your vision for Ireland?
  • What can you and other young people do to achieve this?
  • What else needs to happen to make your proposals possible?

In addition to the online and postal consultation process, the President will host a number of face to face regional workshops. The multimedia consultation and workshops will culminate with a final presidency seminar to be held in Áras an Uachtaráin later this year.

The President will also publish a final Being Young and Irish report and will deliver this report to the appropriate authorities and agencies.

The deadline for submissions to the multimedia consultation is September 29th, 2012.

Further information can be found at

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