Speaking on the decision not to hold a voting-age referendum, National Chairperson of Labour Youth Jack Eustace has expressed Labour Youth’s disappointment on the matter.
“Younger members of the Labour Party were disappointed by yesterday’s decision not to examine lowering the voting age in a referendum. Extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds has long been our policy and we had been looking forward to making the arguments for change this spring.
“Our society very often treats 16 year olds as adults in terms of costs and responsibilities, and yet we currently give them no say in how their country is run. We would encourage the Government to reconsider its position on this.
“The opportunity should not be lost to send out a strong, uplifting message about empowering young people in our democracy.”
Following this week’s vigil by students outside the Shelbourne College on Camden Street, National Chairperson of Labour Youth Jack Eustace, has described the circumstances surrounding the college as ‘disgraceful and unacceptable’.
“It is totally unacceptable that prospective students should be left out of pocket and receive so little clarity on their situation with the college. These people paid up front and in good faith for courses, only to be denied the refund they should be entitled to. To be told the college was re-opening this Monday when in fact it had applied for liquidation was a further slap in the face. The first concerns of any institute of education should be the welfare of students – there is simply no excuse for taking over €500,000 from students for courses they will not and cannot attend.
“Ireland takes in an increasing number of international students every year, and scandals like this can badly undermine any reputation we seek to build abroad for fairness and educational quality. More than this, it is simply wrong to leave people in the lurch for thousands of euro, especially when several of these students have had to raise the money in countries with far lower average wages than here.
“It is absolutely essential that every person affected receives a full refund so they can get on with their education. In addition, the Government needs to look at extending its reforms of the private education sector to protect students from having their money taken in this manner. ”
Labour Youth delegates at Conference in Galway on 7-9 November elected a new National Youth Executive for 2014-15. The newly-elected officers are as follows:
Dublin North West
Membership Development Officer
Policy & Education Officer
Cork South Central
Speaking after the new Executive was announced, National Chairperson Jack Eustace said: “I’m overwhelmed and humbled to have been elected Labour Youth’s National Chairperson in Galway over the weekend. It’s an awesome responsibility and I’m going to try my very best to live up to the trust placed in me by all the members of this brilliant organisation. I want to thank Ciarán Garrett, Siobhán de Paor, Jeni Gartland, Marty O’Prey, Luke Crowley-Holland, Angelina Cox, Jay Deegan and Neil Warner for teaching me so much over the last year. It was an Executive that achieved a lot and I really enjoyed being a part of it. Special thanks also to my friends in UCD Labour for nominating me for the position; there’s no way I would have had the confidence without the friendship and support of the members of the Charlie Donnelly branch.
And to the new team; Jason Deegan, Rachel Walsh, Ciara Galvin, Eleanor McKenna, Ellen Murphy, Kerri Ryan and Luke Field – I’m really looking forward to working with each and every one of you. Let’s make this a year to remember!”