February 3, 2020

Study on Rural Youth


(from left): Fiona O’Grady, LYS CEO, Cllr, Adam Teskey, Sue Targett & Patrick Lynch, LYS Chairperson

A new study from Limerick Youth Service (LYS) on young people growing up in rural County Limerick was launched by the Deputy Mayor of Limerick, Cllr. Adam Teskey, at Rathkeale Youth Space, Limerick on Thursday last, January 30th.

The report, Baseline Study & Needs Analysis of Young People (10-18yrs) in Rural County Limerick, was commission by LYS to capture the experiences of young people in rural communities.

Welcoming guests to packed Rathkeale Youth Space, LYS Chairperson Patrick Lynch, congratulated LYS and the researchers Sue Targett and Neil Haran, on producing an excellent piece of work ‘that captures the voice of young people in rural areas.’

‘We (LYS) undertook this research to address a gap in terms of the knowledge available in the profile, needs, interests and concerns of young people in rural County Limerick,’ said Mr. Lynch.

‘The findings show us that while many young people in rural areas are doing very well there are those who are not enjoying their educational experience while others are enduring financial hardship,’ said Mr. Lynch.

‘There are also areas of concern with respect the experiences of marginalised young people such as ethnic and cultural minorities and members of the LGTBI+ community,’ said Patrick.

A packed Rathkeale Youth Space

The report, which can be accessed at, also highlights the importance of youth clubs in rural areas, the increase of stress in teenagers and challenges addressing issues such as sexual health.

‘This report will be of great use as we work with the relevant local and national stakeholders to ensure the delivery of high quality youth work activities, supports and services across rural communities, said Fiona O’Grady, LYS CEO.

‘I’d like to thank the young people, schools and training centres for their participation with the project and in supporting the researchers,’ added Ms. O’Grady.

Ms. O’Grady also thanked staff at LYS, the Research Advisory Committee and the respective funders for their support in producing this ground-breaking study.

(from left) LYS’ Paul Broderick & Sarah Moore

The research project was funded through the LEADER programme and Ballyhoura Development CLG with the support of West Limerick Resources.

The Research Advisory Committee included representatives from the above organisations in addition to the Limerick & Clare Education & Training Board, Limerick Children & Young People’s Services Committee and Limerick City & County Social Development Directorate.

A member of Youth Work Ireland, LYS remains committed to connecting with young people and supporting them to reach their potential.