Thu, 23 Aug 2012
Free Spirit Festival Rocks Tallaght
IWA’s Kayleigh McKevitt (centre) with Niamh Carton (South Dublin Co.) and Mayor Caitriona Jones at the Free Spirit Festival in Tallaght

Free Spirit Festival Rocks Tallaght

Youth Wellbeing

Young people from around the South Dublin County Council area were treated to a free live outdoor performance by Bipolar Empire at Chambers as part of the Free Spirit Festival organised by the local Comhairle na nOg.

Taking place in a sunny Chambers Square in Tallaght,on a beautiful May evening, the event attracted a steady crowd of young people, parents, and passers-by who were drawn towards the festival mix of outdoor games, activities, mime artists, food, and information stands from organisations such as Pieta House, Aware, Headstrong, and South Dublin County Council Volunteer Centre.

The aim of the event was to promote well-being and positive mental health amongst young people, and the festival featured guest speaker Tony Bates,from Headstrong, who gave a talk in nearby Tallaght Library on mental health and young people and dealing with exam stress.

The evening kicked off with an introduction from the Mayor Caitriona Jones, who emphasised the importance of good mental health in young people and praised the hard work of the organisers from Comhairle na nOg, who had put on such a great event for their peers. The night was also attended by County Manager Philomena Poole.

Comhairle na nOg - youth council

Comhairle na nOg is a local youth council that works to promote issues that are of importance to young people and to make sure that young people's voices are heard. Each county or city council in Ireland has a similar Comhairle allowing young people to get involved in their local area.

One member of South Dublin County Council Comhairle is 17 year old Kayleigh McKevitt from Irish Wheelchair Association Youth Service. Kayleigh joined Comhairle earlier this year and was part of the team that put together the Free Spirit Festival.

'I really enjoy being part of Comhairle na nOg', said Kayleigh. 'I was asked by the (IWA) Youth Workers if I'd like to give it a go and they helped me to join the group and to sort out a few things. It really opens up a lot of opportunities being part of IWA Youth and I'm glad I got involved in Comhairle. I took me a while to get to know people but now I really like it.'

Kayleigh received support and encouragement from Comhairle na nOg Coordinator Niamh Carton (SDCC), and from Bronagh Connolly (Foroige) and Sinead Harris (CYC).

Getting Involved

If you are a young person living in the South Dublin County Council area and would like to be part of Comhairle na nOg, you can get in touch with Niamh at SDCC headquarters in Tallaght.The Free Spirit Festival was a huge success and the culmination of a lot of hard work from the dedicated team of young people who form Comhairle na nOg. Well done to everyone involved.

For more information on participating organisations at the festival you can check out: