YOUNG Limerick people got the chance to tell the city and county’s decision makers this week about the need for more social spaces to meet up safely.
During a presentation at last Monday’s meeting of Limerick City and County Council, members of Comhairle na nÓg got to tell local politicians about the issues that are important to them.
Councillors were told of the need for more social spaces that are LGBTQIA+ and Autism inclusive for young people to meet up safely. Comhairle also pointed out that young people hanging out is constantly viewed as “up to no good”.
They called for more funding and support for new youth cáfes or social clubs in both the city and county for young people at youth friendly hours. They also feel there needs to be greater acceptance that young people need to meet their friends in public spaces.
Comhairle chairperson Christine Houghton also called for transport support for young people in rural areas. The 17-year-old Corbally girl believes more buses are needed for the county on evenings and weekends so young people can attend events in the city.
Councillors were also informed how Limerick young people would like to have more of a say in local decision-making.
Fine Gael councillor Liam Galvin told the youth council members that it was the “most excellent” presentation he had heard in his 18 years as a council member.
“It was a real eyeopener and really insightful. Well done, ye deserve our support,” he enthused.
Social Democrats councillor Elisa O’Donovan was equally impressed.
“That was really insightful, really useful to reflect on,” she said.
Cllr Sarah Kiely (FG) commended the young people for their presentation and asked them to get in contact on any relevant issues.
‘Keep on top of it. Keep on top of us,” she advised.
Cllr Dan McSweeney (FG), the youngest councillor on Limerick City and County Council at 23, spoke of his time in Comhairle and how it prepared him for his role in politics.
Labour Party councillor Conor Sheahan then pointed out how he was the second youngest councillor in the chamber and the only LGBT councillor.
“Enter into a dialogue. We need to talk to, not at young people. I encourage you to get involved in the political process. The fact of the matter is, if you are not at the table, you are not going to be heard.”