Duo off to global youth forum

Two students from Cork and Kerry will take part in a conference in South Africa next week which will be attended by celebrities including Bob Geldof and former UN Kofi Annan.

Ethan Lawlor, 18, from Skibbereen, and Grace Earley, 21, from Tralee, will be attending the One Young World (OYW) Forum where they will be urging world leaders to address youth unemployment.

Grace, who is pursuing European studies at UL, has worked for years in Kerry promoting good mental health amongst young people.

She said high unemployment had a very negative impact on their lives and had left them disillusioned.

“This has led many to emigrate and it’s a possibility that many of them will never come back,” she said.

She said in the current climate of austerity this will not be solved easily, but nevertheless it needs to be addressed.

Grace has been selected to be one the OYW flag bearers for the opening ceremony in Johannesburg which will also be attended by Jamie Oliver, Boris Becker, and François Pienaar, who captained South Africa to win the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Ethan, who is studying events management in Bristol, used his school days in Schull to organise happy occasions for fellow students and is also very concerned about unemployment and the steady stream of people leaving these shores.

Ethan believes that big companies based in Ireland, especially the multinationals, will have to become “more socially responsible” and give support to young people in their areas.

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