This is an extract from an article in which the founder of youth organisation Spun Out, Ruairi Mc Kiernan makes the argument that Irish society is failing young people, leaving them 'at risk' to criminality:
Shop keepers, sometimes encouraged by local politicians, employ pest control “mosquito” devices aimed at teenagers and the media wages a daily war on “anti-social” hoody wearing youths, adding fuel to a generational gap where the nation’s young people are often branded as being “worse than animals”.
All of this takes place in the context of strained family structures, little or no sexual health education in schools and alarming gaps in youth health services. The outlook ahead is for further funding cuts to youth organisations and community groups and a situation that leaves young people hanging out in the streets or online, exposed to the risks of alcohol, drugs, sex, crime and commercialism.
If there is a crisis within youth culture then we must surely ask ourselves how this came about and who is responsible? If young people have become anti-social, then surely this is a reflection of failing parenting, schooling, health and social provision? If young people are failing, then surely it is Irish society that has failed them.
As we approach a winter of discontent where the Sex Pistols’ screams of “No Future” might well make a comeback, we have an enormous opportunity to take a seismic leap forward in how we view young people.
Source: Ruairi McKiernan, SpunOut.ie