Ireland’s President Michael D Higgins has launched a new initiative “Being Young and Irish." The new Irish president invited Irish people across the world aged 17 to 26 to send their future vision for Ireland, to the Áras an Uachtaráin, his official residence.
Launching the initiative on Friday explained that it was aimed at encouraging young Irish people at home and abroad to offer ideas on how they see Ireland’s future.
Speaking at the first of a series of presidency seminars the President reminded the group present that in his inauguration speech he had promised to host these type of events to “reflect and explore themes that were important to the shared life” of the Irish people.
He continued “I also said on that occasion that we must together build a new citizenship for which we need a new discourse.”
Attendees at the seminar included representative from various youth organizations, the GAA, and youth wings of the political parties.
Higgins said “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.”
He suggested that they could use whatever media felt natural to them included the examples of narrative, song, poetry, video, or audio recordings.
He asked that their input to sent to him via www.president.ie or by post to Áras an Uachtaráin (Phoenix Park, Dublin 8). The deadline for submissions is 29th September 2012.
The President called on Ireland’s youth to 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?
Higgins 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.