Ireland’s disaffected youth take to the internet to be heard

23 Feb 2010

Already dismissed as the “lost generation” by an older generation responsible for their woes, with one in three young people under 25 unemployed, it seems enough is enough and the internet is becoming the medium of choice to voice their grievances.

The national youth organisation is today calling on young people to take a stand when it comes to ongoing job losses and the cuts being experienced in key health, education, transport and community services.

According to Ruairi McKiernan, director of the organisation which engages several thousand young people per week, it is time young people get their voices heard and their ideas implemented.

Future Human

“We can’t simply sit back and watch the dole queues grow,” McKiernan said.

“It’s a tragic waste of the amazing education, skills and human energy of an entire generation. There doesn’t seem to be any real leadership or direction emerging from the traditional sources of power so it’s time we looked to ourselves for solutions” McKiernan added.


Staffed by a team of seven full-time and three part-time professionals all under 32, has been providing information, support services and opportunities throughout Ireland since 2005. The innovative organisation campaigns on a range of issues that include mental health, sexual health, environmental issues and social justice

It has emerged as a multi-award-winning platform for young people to have their say on the issues that affect them and has become one of the most widely used youth services in the country, with more than 300,000 unique users each year.

“We should not simply accept emigration or unemployment as options. We are worth much more than that and deserve a better future. It’s up to us to turn the situation around by getting our voices heard and to start truly influencing and shaping the national debate.

“It is clear that fresh thinking and ideas are needed on job creation, immigration, healthcare and politics. Ireland happens to have one of the largest per capita populations of young people in Europe and therefore a huge untapped resource for creating a new vision for Ireland.

“The internet is one accessible way of organising ourselves for campaigning and activism and will soon roll out a range of training, support and development programmes aimed at fostering a new generation of engaged citizens,” McKiernan said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: National youth organisation is calling on young people to take a stand regarding job losses and cuts to essential services

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years