Members of youth groups from across Ireland outside Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin in October 2013
In April 2009, the State contained 1.423 million people aged between 15 and 35. In April 2014, there were 1.206 million in the same age group. That’s a reduction from one generation of more than the entire population of Limerick city and county. This is the age group of rebellion, of adventure, of trying it out and trying it on. It’s the generation that annoys its elders and outrages convention and challenges accepted wisdom. It is demography’s answer to the stultification of groupthink. It is not always right but without its capacity to drive everyone else up the wall, smugness settles over everything like a fine grey dust.
Look anywhere in Ireland that is not a specific redoubt of youth culture, and the place is heavy with middle-age. From the civil service to the media, from politics to the arts establishment, you find demographic landscapes that have been largely frozen for the last six years. The thinning ranks of the young have been unable to mount any sustained challenge to the self-serving orthodoxies of their elders. Which would be fine if the place they leave could afford the consequent culture of stasis and complacency
Fintan O’Toole in today’s Irish Times.
Previously: Correlation Does Not Imply Causation
Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland
Following a long, hot summer which saw many Dublin children and teenagers cool off in Dublin’s Royal Canal, Dublin adult Terry Fagan reflects on his days as a youth spent ‘down the canal’ with his mates.
“That was our adventure park, that was where we enjoyed ourselves, that’s where we grew up and we became men…you got really brave when the girls came around cause you didn’t want to be seen as cowards but you’d wait for some fool to try it first. If he came up out of the water, then you knew it was OK…There’d be many a dream held on that canal bank, you know, cause people would be planning their lives, you know, what they’re going to do and that, ‘we’re gonna travel the world together’, ‘we’re gonna do this’ and ‘we’re gonna do that’, you’re gonna be something…”
Music: ‘Bathtime for Lies’ by Bantum
Video by Motherland.
Previously: You Can See The Jeanie Johnston
When 15 year old Tom Halpin saw Logos Hope in Hong Kong, he rushed on board to meet the crew. In 2009, Tom, then an agnostic, had visited the ship in his home city of Dublin, Ireland with his youth group. During a service on board a man called Justin from Bermuda asked if people wanted to leave their sin behind and truly commit to following God, to stand up with their eyes closed. “I told myself I wouldn’t ever stand up,” said Tom, “but an overwhelming force came from beneath me, I opened my eyes and I was standing up.” Today, Tom helps run a kids club at his church, organising games and teaching the Bible. “Thank you to the Logos Hope crew for giving God the chance to speak to me,” he added.
Bloody Germans trying to take over the world again.
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We All Want to Be Young – a short film based on a series of studies developed over the past 5 years by BOX1824 – a Brazilian research company specialising in behavioral sciences and consumer trends.
It will make you feel old. Unless you’re young. In which case, it will make you feel pressurised and self-conscious.
Hey, cheer up kids, that’s so much better than feeling old.