Comhairle na nOg is an initiative of the National Children’s Office under the National Children’s Strategy. It provides an opportunity for young people, under 18 years of age, to have a say in issues that affect their lives. It is composed of representatives of secondary schools and relevant youth organisations and meets around six times per annum.
Leitrim Comhairle's project for 2017-2018 is “Use your Brain, Not your Fists”. Spearheaded by Rosie and Joe Dolan in memory of their son Andrew, the campaign targets the person throwing the punches. Statistics show that the majority of incidents such as that involving Rosie’s son Andrew, are usually random acts, perpetrated between 8pm and 5am by people who are not known to Gardai / not repeat offenders, and drink is involved.
Comhairle members produced this short film "Use your Brain, Not your Fists" for circulation via social media, and to schools and youth groups around the country.
The film was launched in the Bush Hotel, Carrick on Shannon on Friday 27th April to an audience of 200 representatives of local and national press, schools, youth groups, the Gardaí and relevant agencies. It also featured on RTE News
Andrew Dolan’s mother, Rosie , and Shane Grogan and his parents, Joe and Joan, feature in the video and share their heartbreaking experiences following their sons’ attacks. Other contributors to the film include former footballer and League of Ireland legend, Joseph Ndo as well as Garda Noel Lee and Sgt. Kelvin Courtney. The film was facilitated by Sinéad Dolan of Loch Bó Films, who worked with the Comhairle na nÓg committee members who created the content, storyboards, operated camera and audio equipment and conducted interviews with the participants.
The program is supported by Leitrim County Council, North Connaught Youth Service, North West Drug and Alcohol Task Force and Creative Ireland. Comhairle na nÓg are grateful to the Garda Press Office for permission to use their posters, literature and tagline.
This series of posters have been produced by An Garda as part of the campaign:
Use your Brain Not your Fists posters.pdf (size 1.4 MB)
Leitrim Comhairle members Aoibhinn Callaghan, Ned Sweeney and Arlene Beirne appeared previously on the Claire Byrne Live programme on RTE on 9th January, alongside Rosie Dolan. On an very poignant programme, our young people presented excellently and helped send out a powerful message on national television.
The hard work and dedication of comhairle members Jodie O’Boyle, Ned Sweeney and Arleen Beirne was recognised at the Sligo Leitrim Garda Youth Awards recently.Well deserved! Pictured below
Dáil na nÓg 2017 took place on 6th December in Croke park. Aoibhinn Callaghan, who represents Leitrim on the Comhairle National Executive, was one of the speakers on the day.
Dail na nOg 2017 Report.pdf (size 8.2 MB)
Pictured above: Leitrim Comhairle members Ned Sweeney, Aloisa Dias, Arlene Beirne and Jodie O Boyle who made a presentation to members of Leitrim Co Council at the November 2017 meeting.
In 2017 Comhairle members participated in the Youth Work Ireland Information Exchange. One of these, Aloisa Dias of Drumshanbo Vocational School, spoke very eloquently about her experience of living in Ireland and she was included in a feature in the Irish Times on 14/10/17.
Eight members, who were the only Irish representatives, participated in a focus group on Healthy Social Media, an online project. It was undertaken by Erasmus students from Queens University, Belfast and looked at changes in social media usage among children.
The Comhairle is currently being run by North Connaught Youth and Community Services.
Contact: Fiona Taylor on 071 9641721 or email email@example.com
Leitrim Comhairle na nÓg Facebook page
National Comhairle website
For further information contact Suzanne Duffy on (071) 9620005 ext. 540 firstname.lastname@example.org