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Shannon’s Mayor Greg Duff with Tara Tierney, Shelly Goggin, Luke McEvoy and Pierce Merrigan from Clare Youth Service, who went on the exchange to Guingamp.

Talking democracy in Guingamp

YOUNG people from the locality headed to Guingamp in France, Shannon’s twin town, last week to discuss local democracy and how they can get actively involved in local politics.

The exchange, as part of an intercultural link with Guingamp, Aue in Germany and Kadan in the Czech Republic, looked at how democracy works at a local level in each of the towns and the issues that affect young people in the area at a local level.

Five young people from Shannon and the surrounding area headed up the trip, with the support and company of Mayor of Shannon Greg Duff and Clare Youth Service Youth worker Aoife Guilfoyle.

In advance of the trip, Councillor Duff commented, “The emphasis will be very much on the young people taking part in this exchange as they explore their place in local politics and I want to do everything I can to facilitate their interests and learning. I see this very much as a partnership that we have entered into and I will do everything I can to enhance that partnership in representing Shannon in Guingamp,” he said.

Councillor Duff said the stay in Guingamp was an opportunity for young people to present their town to other youth groups and plan a project for their return on Saturday. There will then be a second trip to Aue, Germany in April to present their projects to other groups.

The group themselves have been preparing and learning about local democracy and local politics for the past two months and attended a Shannon Town Council meeting.

Before they left, Ms Guilfoyle said, “The group really enjoyed the council meeting and displayed great interest in the topics being discussed. Some people may think that young people might not be interested in this type of meeting. However watching the debates that came up was a real source of interest to them. I can’t wait to see what they come up with in Guingamp.”

About Gerry McInerney

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