A NEW chapter is about to open in the lives of young people in Rathkeale with the official opening, in a fortnight’s time, of a new and permanent home for the Rathkeale Youth Project.
And the young members of Rathkeale Youth Project are ROAR-ing into action for the launch, determined to “Reclaim Our Amazing Rathkeale “(ROAR).
The new Rathkeale Youth Space will be located in the former Sports Complex at Abbeycourt and will include a Youth Cafe as well as outdoor facilities and three activity rooms.
The project, which has been spearheaded by Limerick Youth Services, will be officially opened on Thursday, May 15 by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald.
“At the moment it is all hands on deck with young people, volunteers and staff busy preparing for the launch which our Youth Committee have called ROAR, Reclaim Our Amazing Rathkeale,” Sasha Noonan, the Limerick Youth Services youth worker in Rathkeale said this week. “With the stereotyping and negative media that is often associated with Rathkeale, the young people see the launch of their Youth Space as an opportunity to give a positive and more accurate image of Rathkeale.”
Since the Rathkeale Youth Project was established some years ago, it has been located in two private premises in the town but its new home offers greater opportunities for its young members.
“Rathkeale Youth Space will be a hub for youth work activities and programmes as well as open evenings and volunteer training in Rathkeale and west Limerick,’ said Joe Walsh, another youth worker in Rathkeale.
In particular, he welcomed the fact that Rathkeale will not have its very own Youth Cafe. “Youth Cafés are run by young people, for young people,” he explained. “A youth committee is elected and they take ownership of the Youth Café in terms of ordering stock, deciding what programmes to run and so on. It promises to be a fun-filled addition to the town.”
The official opening by Minister Fitzgerald, with entertainment, will take place at 4pm on May 15