Youth employment must become an immediate priority issue for the Government, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said.
“Ireland needs a crusade for the creation of sustainable youth employment as an immediate post-bail-out social goal,” he said.“Bailouts can come and go, but our future is in our young people and we are failing them,” he said.
Speaking in the Church of the Most Precious Blood, Cabra West today he said “life is not easy for young people today. One of the great social challenges of our country and of Western Europe today is the serious problem of youth unemployment.”
He said “it is estimated that the rate of youth unemployment in Ireland is almost 30 per cent. In some other European countries it is indeed higher. I believe that the challenge of youth unemployment should become a priority policy in the immediate future.”
Young people “who for years are unable to attain employment easily begin to give up hope and feel that their personal value and their contribution to society are somehow disregarded,” he said.
He said that “life is not easy for young people and belief is not easy for young people. But we must remember that the Christian message has the ability to fascinate and challenge in every age. Our young people need to hear Christ’s message in its clarity and in all its demands.”
On Saturday afteroon last Archbishop Martin opened a shrine to Blessed John Paul II at the Church of Our Lady, Help of Christians on Dublin’s Navan Road.
Blessed John Paul will be canonised alongside Blessed John XXIII in Rome next April.
There Archbishop Martin recalled that “Pope John Paul - who ordained me bishop - was a man of courage, a man who addressed injustices: those that that existed under the communist system, those that existed anywhere where people were forced to live in poverty. He was a man who sought to renew the Church. He had a great concern and affection for young people.”
He said that “among his many documents, Pope John Paul wrote three social encyclicals, looking at how the economic systems in our world and their workings affect people’s hopes and possibilities in life. He spoke especially about human work. He stressed the dignity of work and how work is central to the identity of the person, especially the young person.”