Two groups of Westmeath teens make TV finals

Two groups of Westmeath teenagers have made it through to the televised finals of a major national competition.

From 140 projects around Ireland, the Foróige Gateway Youth Project in Athlone and Rosemount Foróige Club are now in the finals of the permanent tsb Foróige Youth Citizenship Awards along with eight other groups. The finals will be broadcast on TV3 in November.

The announcement was made in the RDS, Dublin at a national showcase of community projects attended by thousands of young people.

The Rosemount entry centred on the important subject of farm safety while the Gateway Club entered a project aimed at raising awareness around the issue of suicide.

Group member Deirdre Campbell said the group tried to dispel the stigma associated with mental health; “We established a suicide awareness movement and after that we wrote, directed, and produced a two-act play. The play was approved by a professional counsellor and it centred on bereavement through suicide.

“Of course we acted in the play ourselves and the feedback we got from the other young people who watched it was amazing. Those who saw it have a better understanding of the subject and we definitely do after putting together this project.

“We can’t believe that we’re now in the final, we’re kind of in shock. All the hard work and months of preparation have really paid off. We can’t wait for the finals in November and the fact that it will be on TV makes it even more exciting.”

The projects at the exhibition came from all over the country and they faced up to all sorts of issues including homophobic bullying, rural isolation, farm safety, suicide, youth mental health, healthy living, drug and alcohol awareness, poverty and disability, smoking, animal welfare, and social inclusion.

Four other Foróige groups from Westmeath submitted projects which did not make the finals on this occasion; they were St Joseph’s Foróige Club, Streamstown with their summer cleanup project targeting a local amenity; Tubberclair Foróige Club with a Christmas craft fair to help boost the local economy; CSI Foróige Club, Mount Temple with their Children’s Rights Referendum awareness campaign; and Coralstown Foróige Club with an Easter egg hunt for the local community.


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