Hanafin announces funding of €2,500 for a Comhairle na nÓg (Children´s Council) in each City and County
The Minister for Children, Mary Hanafin T.D. today announced that funding of e2,500 will be available to each City and County Development Board to hold a Comhairle na nÓg (Children´s Council) in their area. This follows the very successful first Dáil na nÓg (National Children´s Parliament), which was held in September 2001.
The Comhairle na nÓg has two purposes:
- to give children a voice in their local community in line with the first goal of the National Children´s Strategy
- to select local delegates for the next Dáil na nÓg in the autumn.
The first Comhairle na nÓg in the Country is being held today by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Development Board and up to 100 children between the ages of 9 and 17 are attending. The Directors of Community and Enterprise of each of the City and County Development Boards have been invited to observe this Comhairle na nÓg, with a view to holding one in their area. Hosting the Council Minister Hanafin said “I want every City and County Development Board to follow the lead of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Development Board by holding a local Dáil na nÓg in their area. In that way children from all over the country will get an opportunity to have their voices heard.”
The topics for discussion at the Comhairle na nÓg include:
- Play and Recreation
- Pride in my area
When children contribute to their area they feel a sense of belonging, a sense of pride in their community. The local Children´s council will assist this.
Minister Hanafin concluded “this funding of €2,500 represents a further commitment by our government to the implementation of the National Children´s Strategy. It will assist local government in implementing the first goal of the Strategy – ´Children will have a voice´. This goal was further promoted by the publication yesterday of the Bill for the establishment of an Ombudsman for Children.”