Comhairle na nOg

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Comhairle na nOg is an initiative of the National Children’s Office under the National Children’s Strategy. It gives young people, under 18 years of age, a voice on issues that affect their lives and an opportunity to present those issues to policy makers. It is composed of representatives of secondary schools and relevant youth organisations who meet around six times a year and host events.

Leitrim Comhairle's project for 2021/2022 is Outdoor Space for Young People and for 2022/2023 is Mental Health

| UYBNYF Workbook cover

Comhairle's project “Use your Brain, Not your Fists”, continues to be taken up by schools and sporting organisations, local and national press, schools, youth groups, the Gardaí and relevant agencies. Their short film "Use your Brain, Not your Fists" was produced for circulation via social media, and to schools and youth groups around the country. It also featured on RTE News. In 2019, Comhairle produced a Workbook to use in conjunction with the video in schools and youth service settings. The Workbook, funded by Healthy Ireland, is designed as a resource for teachers and youth workers and has already been launched in secondary schools in Leitrim.

This project was spearheaded by Rosie and Joe Dolan in memory of their son Andrew. The campaign targets the person throwing the punches and aims to prevent these "one punch" assaults. Statistics show that the majority of these incidents are usually random acts, perpetrated between 8pm and 5am by people who are not known to Gardai / not repeat offenders, and drink is involved.

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, An Garda Siochana, Healthy Ireland and Creative Ireland.

This series of posters were produced by An Garda and Comhairle na nÓg are grateful to the Garda Press Office for their use. Please contact us if you would like a supply for your venue/club/school.
Use your Brain Not your Fists posters.pdf (size 1.4 MB)

Comhairle na nÓg won the Wellbeing category in the prestigious Pride of Place Awards in November 2018 with the Use Your Brain Not Your Fists campaign - a fantastic achievement given these awards cover the 32 counties!

The Youth Mental Health Initiative in Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan produced this excellent report in 2014 Mind Your Head There is also a shorter Mind Your Head Summary.

Mind your head

The Comhairle is currently being run by North Connaught Youth and Community Services.
Contact Emma McAlenan

Leitrim Comhairle na nÓg Facebook page
National Comhairle website

 For further information contact Susan Barry on (071) 9620005 ext. 540

  • EU Sturctural Fund
  • European Union