26/05/2015: School children imagine the future of Ireland beyond 2016 for Ministers Reilly and Humphreys
The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr James Reilly TD, today met with a group of primary school children to hear their ideas on how the children of the 1916 Rising should be remembered next year and to hear their view on the future of Ireland beyond 2016.
A series of children’s consultation events are being held by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) as part of the Youth andImagination strand of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme. The children will explore what life was like in 1916, imagine what they would like for Ireland in the future and consider ways to honour the children who died during the Easter Rising.
A total of 48 children from schools in Louth, Meath and Dublin are taking part in today’s event, which is one of six consultations taking place with young people around the country.
Speaking at today’s consultation, Minister Humphreys said:
“I want children to be at the heart of the Ireland 2016 commemorations. We know that almost 40 children were killed during the Rising, and I want to hear from the school children of today on how they should be remembered. I have no doubt that their ideas and their enthusiasm will add greatly to our programme of events for next year, when we will mark the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising.
“This series of children’s consultations is a great complement to the exciting education programme being rolled out in schools from September. We want children to engage with their history, learn about what life was like 100 years ago and connect with their family roots. Children will also play a vital role in looking to the future, as we seek to re-imagine Ireland for the next 100 years.”
Addressing the children, Minister Reilly said:
“One of the most important jobs of my Department is to get the opinions of children on many topics because children and young people have very valuable and useful ideas to contribute to improving policies and services and to making Ireland a better place to be a child.
“Today you have been asked about the things you like about Ireland, the things you want to change and the things you don’t want to bring into the next century. At the end of each consultation, the most important topics voted by children and young people will be put in a time capsule for future generations of Irish children and young people. We also want to know how you would like to remember and honour the children who died in 1916.
“As part of the Ireland 2016 Centenary Programme, the report from all six consultations will be presented by some of you to Ministers and decision-makers at a major children’s event in April 2016. The children’s event will honour the children of the past and the children of the present – focussing on their wishes for the future of Ireland. The time capsule with all your top priorities will be buried in the ground at this event.”