The creative agency wing of District media, Studio District, has published a post-pandemic report outlining the realities Irish youth are currently facing. Studio District hopes that these findings will facilitate change going forward.
“Put simply, Irish youth are struggling,” a statement by Studio District reads. “Our goal is to inform our collaborators and the Irish media sector of the lived experience of young people in the hope that we can work together in an attempt to help mitigate these patterns in the immediate future.”
The report, which was made up of data from a survey of over 1,000 people, highlighted their key finds as:
24% have had to leave Dublin over the last 18 months due to financial factors
75% have contemplated emigrating over the last 18 months
89% strongly disagree with the statement: ‘taking covid out the equation, the Irish government have been successful in tackling the issues that are most important to me’
91% have considered getting rid of their social media accounts
“Going forward, the first two months of every year will see us dedicating our site and socials to amplifying the voices of young people advocating for change and trying to make Ireland a better place,” the post-pandemic report states.
Eoin Fagan is one of 22 youth representatives challenged by District to ask the questions that matter to them for the year ahead, covering a number of topics from art and culture to labour and housing, to reveal what is most pressing for Ireland in 2022.
Fagan, who is from the Anti-Conversion Therapy Coalition asked the question, “When will conversion therapy be banned in Ireland?”
“It’s alarming that we haven’t heard much from the Government on this issue in recent months, especially when you consider that in the HSE, conversion therapy is present in institutions like Loughlinstown Hospital,” Fagan said, reporting the frustrations felt by the entire group. “It was my understanding that Roderic O’Gorman’s department wasn’t aware of that.”
Fagan added, “It shouldn’t take a campaign to be set up to combat this issue when there’s a bill been sitting in the Seanad, gathering dust.” He’s referring to the Prohibition of Conversion Therapies Bill which has faced delays in the Seanad since it was co-signed almost four years ago by almost 20 senators, and yet has only reached the third stage in the Seanad.
“The most pressing question is when will this practice, that has been described as torture by the UN, be outlawed. We can’t say that we’re a country that leads in LGBTQ+ and human rights when people can be subjected to this treatment. It’s not good enough.”
Trans and non-binary issues, abortion access, climate change, anti-racism and direct provision were all among the topics raised by youth representatives highlighting key areas for change in Ireland in 2022.
“Compiling the post-pandemic report has been an incredibly important thing for us to do as a media company that champions Ireland,” Craig Connolly, Director of District, told GCN.
“We’re at a crucial juncture as a nation and the findings in the report, although not surprising, are frankly terrifying. Almost a quarter of the people surveyed had to leave Dublin due to financial factors over the course of the pandemic and that trend only seems to be getting worse.”
Connolly went on to say, “We love our city and want it to be as exciting a place to be as possible, however, unless the powers that be do something to make living here more attainable for young people we’re going to see a creative drain that will far eclipse what we saw during the recession in 08/09.”
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