Céifin National Students Conference
19th - 20th October 2006
Engaging with a transforming Ireland ~ a young person’s perspective
The first Céifin National Student Conference took place in Galway on 19th and 20th of October 2006. The conference was generously hosted by GMIT, with Kieran O’Malley, USI Western Area Officer, and Damian Corridan, Student Union President NUIG, as the Host Representatives. Throughout the two days a diverse panel of speakers presented thought provoking material which stimulated invigorating debate, ranging from family values in a changing Ireland to the challenge of peaceful coexistence in society today. Speakers included amongst others Professor Tom Collins, Head of Education NUIM, who looked at the role of Education in re-connecting young people in Irish society. John Lonergan, Governor of Mountjoy Prison, provoked discussion, particularly in the breakout sessions on the nature of recidivism and the rehabilitation of prisoners in Irish society Phillip Watt, Director of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism, and her Excellency, Ms. Devikarani Priscilla Sewpal Jana, South African Ambassador to Ireland, outlined issues pertinent to the integration of different cultures in society. Animated discussion followed, particularly with regard to the ambassador’s presentation on the challenge of peaceful coexistence in society. Her emphasis was firmly placed on the role of education in informing young people of the importance of world cultures and diversity.
Issues and concerns of particular relevance to the student body were highlighted and debated by Colm Hamrogue, President of the Students Union of Ireland, Carmel O’Reilly Welfare Officer from Athlone IT and Roisín McGrogan, Vice President/ Welfare Officer NUIG Students Union. The annual overhead costs for a third level student were outlined and many of the concerns that come with that were aired. The general feeling was that the full picture of student costs is not being recognised by the government and that means-testing parents income is no longer an adequate tool by which to measure student need.
The impetus behind the organisation of this conference was to give the students of Ireland an opportunity to air their views, concerns, ideas, and hopes for the future. This airing of concerns took place throughout the two days in the participation and articulate discussion from delegates both in the main auditorium and in the regular breakout sessions.
The Key elements of these discussions were fed back to the 9th Annual Céifin Conference in Ennis on 7th & 8th of November, ensuring that the student voice was heard in the wider debate on a transforming Ireland.
Files to Download:
- Ceifin National Student Conference 2006 - Poster
- Ceifin National Student Conference 2006 - Programme