Five Laois students from five different schools represented the county at a Dáil na nÓg event recently.
Emily Costigan (Mountmellick CS), Anna McWey (Heywood CS) Ava Pendergast (Scoil Chriost Ri), Lucy Doyle (Dunamase College) and Jack Bowe (Portlaoise College) attended the event in the Convention Centre Dublin on March 26.
Dail na nÓg sees students come together to take part in debates on issues that are most important to young Irish people.
The five Laois students also voted on the topic that will be pursued by Comhairle na nOg at national executive.
They and their peers chose ‘a more inclusive relationships and sexuality education’ as the issue most pressing to them.
Anna McWey was also a youth facilitator and she explained how much the day meant to her.
She said: “It was such an amazing opportunity to be able to attend Dáil na nÓg.
“The chosen topic was equality which is such an important aspect of our everyday lives at the moment.
“I was a youth facilitator for Dáil na nÓg which is not something I would have been able to challenge myself to do before.
“I enjoyed being able to lead the workshops. It was very empowering to hear the views shared by other members of Comhairle na nÓgs across the country.
“This event is crucial to improving the government’s policies for us and future generations because it allows us to have a say.
“It was great to be able to meet everyone in person as the event was originally scheduled for last December which meant it would have had to be a virtual gathering.
“Myself and my fellow Laois Comhairle na nÓg members were delighted with how the day went. We got to vote on the topic for the incoming national executive which is a more inclusive relationships and sexuality education.
“We also got to listen to an esteemed panel answer our questions and share their experiences with equality.
“Facilitating and being a delegate at Dáil na nÓg was definitely one of the most amazing opportunities I have experienced during my time as a member of the Laois Comhairle na nÓg.”