Ireland’s first-ever Rural Youth Assembly took place today (Tuesday, November 16), where young people united to discuss the challenges faced by, and opportunities available to, those living in rural Ireland.

The event took place with young people aged between 12-18 years’.

The idea for the assembly was proposed by youth groups during the consultation process in the development of Ireland’s five-year rural policy, Our Rural Future.

The assembly is the first step in the establishment of a National Youth Assembly, which is due to be launched next year.

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys and Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman were in attendance.

Commenting, Minister Humphreys said:

“It is important to hear directly from our young people as they are best placed to give their views on how to improve the quality of life for those growing up in our rural communities.”

She said she was delighted to have been able to engage directly with the participants on ways to revitalise rural Ireland and make its communities better places to live, work, grow up in, and raise a family.

Minister Humphreys also acknowledged the contributions of the National Participation Office and Comhairle na nÓg to the Rural Youth Assembly.

Minister O’Gorman said today was a proud moment for him and that young people had “made history”.