Hosted by Ennis Town Council and Clare Youth Service, the event featured motivational presentations by former Irish Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan and Lahinch native Aine Mae O’ Mahony who spoke about the challenges arising from sight loss to fulfilling her ambition as a radio producer and presenter and fundraiser for a number of charities including “fighting Blindness”.
The event featured four workshops, hosted by Clare Youth Service and Clare Sports Partnership, on the themes of Relaxation and Mediation, Disability in Sport, Film-making, and Drugs and Alcohol information.
There was also a number of film screenings. The Garda Youth Diversion Project presented “Keep Calm and end Bullying” on the issue of bullying, which is an area identified by young people participating in the Comhairle na nÓg AGM in September 2012 as the key issue along with mental health facing young people. Meanwhile, Clare Youth Service presented a short film focusing on the benefits of giving up smoking and a separate short documentary on ethical trade.
Music teacher John Lillis was joined by hip hop artist God Knows to present an event showcasing how music can help young people to focus their interests and energy in a positive direction.
Deputy Mayor of Ennis Cllr Frankie Neylon, who welcomed Muhammad Ali to Ennis and hosted the civic reception where Muhammad Ali was made the first Honorary Freeman of Ennis by Ennis Town Council in September 2009, told students gathered at today’s seminar: “This event enables key service providers for young people to speak directly with teenagers about the issues affecting them. It also provides a platform for people such as Sonia O’Sullivan and Aine Mae O’Mahony to tell their personal stories and in doing so inspire those gathered to fulfill their potential and ambitions.”
“This seminar programme reflects the mission of the Muhammad Ali Centre in Louisville Kentucky which was founded by Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be,” added Cllr. Neylon.
Today’s seminar was attended by students of Coláiste Muire, Rice College, St. Flannan’s College, Gaelcholáiste an Chláir and Ennis Community College.