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12th Nov 2020

Young people missing out on “getting the shift,” the Seanad heard today

James Fenton

Young people are missing out on a number of rites of passage including getting the shift, the Seanad heard today.

People in Ireland have faced social restrictions in one form or another since March and Fianna Fáil senator Malcolm Byrne expressed particular sympathy for young people in the Seanad today.

Mr. Byrne said that “the last thing people in their late teens want to do over the weekend is to sit at home with their mam and dad watching television.” He went on to tell his colleagues how lucky they all were for having more freedom when they did their Leaving Cert and went to college, saying that “it was when we went to nightclubs and, yes, when we got the shift, when we got into a relationship and when we learned about ourselves, they are important rites of passage. A whole generation of young people is now in danger of losing all that.”

The Senator expressed concern that the younger generation are “anxious, isolated and worried” due to Covid-19 regulations, citing a report from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and youth organisation SpunOut. “We can never make it up to those young people, but we must ensure they have support,” he said.

If you’re feeling anxious or stressed at this time, SpunOut has a number of resources which might be helpful. You can find more information here. Malcolm Byrne’s comments to the Seanad today can be read in full here.

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