Fianna Fáil is on the rise among young people in Laois according to Portlaoise’s David Ryan who was recently elected to Ógra Fianna Fáil’s as National Events Director.
“Ógra Fianna Fáil were pretty much wiped out in Laois, it used to be very much university based,” David explains.
“But along with Thomas Foy, we’ve set it up again and we now have around 45 people on our mailing list. Out of that, we have around 25-35 people who are regularly involved.
“We recruited about 20 people from around Laois and the rest have come from Universities. We’re lucky in Laois that it is still one of the most pro Fianna Fail counties in Ireland.”
David says there are a number of factors to Fianna Fail’s revival, including giving every member a vote at the Ard Fheis.
“When I entered the party two or three years ago, it was hard to have a say, but now everyone has a vote at the Ard Fheis, not just the three delegates I’d say the next one will be massive.”
David was one of two Laois people elected to the National ógra Fianna Fáil Central Officer Board at the National Youth Conference which was held in Sligo, recently.
Eighteen - year- old Thomas Foy from Ballybrittas and currently studying Engineering in Carlow IT was elected as Leinster Organiser. Thomas will be responsible for setting up new groups in Kildare North and Kildare South.
“Thomas has been with us from the start in Laois, he knows what’s involved. There is a huge interest among young people, about seven or eight of our members are aged 18,” David explains.
Meanwhile, David will be responsible for organising any event that ógra Fianna fail will hold during his term of office.
“There is a lot already planned out, but specifically I want to increase the use of Irish in everything we do, from pigeon english to fluency.”
Due to his national position in Ógra Fianna Fáil David will also have a seat on the Fianna Fáil National Executive, which is the highest decision making body within Fianna Fáil outside of the Ard Fheis. This is his second time to be elected to the Fianna Fáil National executive after being elected by the Laois members of Fianna Fáil 18 months ago to represent them as their constituency delegate.