Politicians trusted by only one in 10 teenagers, survey finds

Majority of those surveyed also said they would close the door on a politician

A screen-grab of the home page of oblivious.ie – a politics website operated by a group of transition year students from St Attracta’s CS, Tubbercurry in Sligo

A screen-grab of the home page of oblivious.ie – a politics website operated by a group of transition year students from St Attracta’s CS, Tubbercurry in Sligo

 

A survey of almost 250 students across four secondary schools has found that politicians are trusted by only one in 10 teenagers.

The majority of those surveyed also said they would close the door on a politician who called to their homes.

The survey of 228 pupils in fourth year, fifth year and sixth year was carried out by transition year students in St Attracta’s Community School in Tubbercurry, Co Sligo.

As well as their own school, the students surveyed pupils in Coola Post Primary, also in Sligo, as well as Rossa College in Skibbereen, Co Cork, and St Ciaran’s Community College, Kells, Co Meath.

The students set up a new website – called oblivious.ie – for their research. Over half (56 per cent) said they are fairly or very uninterested in politics, but 95 per cent said young people should have a greater say in politics and government decisions.

The vast majority (86 per cent) said they do not trust politicians, while 61 per cent said they would close the door if a politician called to their house. Minister for Health Leo Varadkar was the most recognisable politician among those surveyed.

The students also submitted queries to 50 TDs and senators as part of a separate survey. They received 25 responses.

Of those who replied, almost 70 per cent said the voting age in Ireland should be lowered, while 53 per cent said politicians cared “a lot” about younger people.

A fifth said they “don’t care enough”; a further fifth said they “care a little”; with the remainder saying they “don’t care at all”.

When asked who is to blame for the lack of engagement between politicians and young people, 60 per cent said it was the politicians themselves, while 20 per cent said it was the fault of young people. The remainder said neither are to blame.