The Louth Children’s Services Committee (CSC) inaugural seminar, which took place in Scoil Uí Mhuirí, Dunleer this week, was a major success according to Dr. Pádraig Kirk, a member of the Louth CSC and CEO of Co. Louth VEC.
The seminar entitled, ‘Growing Up in Louth – Making a Difference for Children’ was attended by over 100 professionals working in the area of children and young people’s services across Co. Louth, including teachers, parents, child care workers, Gardaí, youth workers and public service officials.
The seminar was opened by the CEO, Dr. Kirk who told the assembled audience that, “the VEC are delighted to be able to host this inaugural seminar of the Children’s Services Committee. The VEC fully intends to play its part in contributing to the collective efforts of all the agencies involved in the CSC to ensure better outcomes for children in Louth”.
Professor James Williams from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) presented some of the more interesting findings of the national longitudinal study of children in Ireland – ‘Growing Up in Ireland’. Prof. Williams has been Principal Investigator on this study with the ESRI since its inception in 2006.
Ms. Joanne Murphy, Coordinator of the Louth CSC, presented the audience with an overview of the Louth CSC Plan (2012-2014) and, in workshops, delegates had the opportunity to comment on the Children’s Services plan for Co. Louth and make suggestions on how best the plan could be implemented.
The highlight of the seminar was the address given by Mr. John Lonergan, former Governor of Mountjoy prison. John gave a very thought provoking and entertaining speech on the wide range of issues affecting young people in Ireland today, and those professionals that interact with them in addressing issues and problems as they occur.
John captured the audience’s attention from he took to the podium until he sat down and the rapturous applause at the end was testament to how appreciative everybody was that he took the time out of his busy schedule to share his experiences with the people of Louth.