Léargas Forum TED-type Talks

Another initiative at this years Léargas Forum has been the introduction of a series of short ‘TED-like’ talks featuring Kieran Brosnan, Nora Furlong, Peter Hussey and Sheila Quigley. All have been involved in one aspect or another of Léargas work over the past few years. However, the challenge of putting all that they have done together in a five minute presentation was still a major one!

We caught up with all four, just after their well-received, lightning talks. Below are links to short interviews with each.

Youth Media Team

Interview with Jim Mullin

Léargas Executive Director Jim Mullin was a very busy man today. The #LéargasForum is one of their busiest days of the year but he took time out of his hectic schedule to speak with us. We talked about a number of things including; what Léargas does both here and in Europe, the forum itself and his previous work before his role with Léargas. We also talked with him about the choice of Fr. Peter McVerry as today’s forum keynote. Jim had some very interesting things to say about the reasons for this choice. ( In another blogpost we talk about our interview with Fr. Peter McVerry has been working with vulnerable young people in Dublin for the last 40 years. During this time he has campaigned tirelessly for their rights and his keynote speech went down very well at the forum today. He spoke about dignity, the importance of young people having a sense of belonging and a sense of being valued and cared about.)

Caitlin and Dave
Youth Media Team

Young People shaping our society – are we there yet?

As part of the Léargas forum a series of workshops were organised that deal with some of the core areas of Léargas work. For example one of the workshops today Young People shaping our society-are we there yet?


The workshop was facilitated by Dermot O’Brien and Bernadette Larkin and walked through the Erasmus + project undertaken. We explored what is meant by political and distinguished between political referring to public representation versus political as finding something you don’t like and not changing it. During our discussions we spoke about conflict between empowerment and ”walking the line” in school. Some other points of discussion were around the importance of empowering those who are least engaged and how to go about doing this.



The project was undertaken in partnership with the National Youth Council of Ireland and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and involved the following steps.

  • Research on empowerment (Red C poll)
  • EU Youth Conference in Rome.
  • Focus Groups
  • EU Youth Conference Riga resulting in a list of Europe wide recommendations.
  • Items to Action report produced for EU Council of Ministers meeting.
  • EU Youth Conference Luxembourg.
  • Priority areas identified for Ireland.
  • Final Recommendations produced.

The project has fed into the road map for the National Implementation Plan for 2016 which begins in January.

Caitlin, Finn & Dave

Youth Media Team

Interview with Father Peter McVerry

Caitlin and Finn interviewed Father Peter McVerry who set up the Peter McVerry Trust in the 1970’s. The trust works with young homeless people in inner city Dublin. In his interview he spoke to us about the different centres which includes short term one day beds, 6 month beds,addiction and counseling centres and finally 150 permanent beds/flats which can permanently home people in need. The centres combined serve over 4000 homeless people each year. Peter spoke in his keynote about the rapidly changing world around us and also the rapidly changing homeless landscape, with families instead of individuals becoming homeless. Fr McVerry also spoke about how he believes Muslims and Christians need to connect more to end the negativity towards the religion, which has come about due to recent events.

Youth Media Team,
Caitlin and Finn.