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Issue 4: Jul - Sept 2008

This edition of ECHO is a Party in the Park 2008 Special Edition, where we take a look back at this year’s event in the Letterkenny Town Park on August 3rd.


sl re New t n e C ation Inform h t u o Y kenny Letter



There is plenty of other news and info to keep you up to date also, and we look ahead to what is coming up in the YIC and Loft over the next number of months. Enjoy! Martin Keeney

Youth Information Officer





4 086-3


Park FYI – Party in the Speak Up

Up? What’s Coming

YIC & LOFT NEWS FLYING THE COOP Letterkenny Youth Information Centre and Loft LK hosted an information seminar for young people and the parents of those leaving home for the first time on Thursday 28th August at 7pm. The Donegal Youth Service seminar, “Flying the Coop”, welcomed a host of guest speakers from a range of backgrounds to offer advice and support for those going to third level or leaving home to work over the coming months. A 65-page booklet produced by the Roscommon Youth Information Centre, entitled “Flying the Coop”, is also available full of advice on all these areas, including tenants rights, useful contacts and advice for those going on to study in Northern Ireland or the UK. If you would like to find out more about this event you can contact the Youth Information Centre at 07491-29640.


The Donegal Youth Service will be sending a team of young people to Brazil to participate in a project called “A Different Triangle” this October. The two week project will see young people from all over Europe meet up with young people from Africa, South America and the West Indies, to share knowledge and experiences and set up further international exchange opportunities. Chairperson of the Donegal Youth Service Board of Directors, Stephen McNamee will lead the group along with young people Louise Dunne, Mary Duddy, Ciara Cribben and Darragh Condon. The exchange will run from 6th to 21st October. As Stephen explains the trip will also present many stark challenges for the Donegal group. “The exchange takes place in Recife in Brazil, which is one of the poorest areas of the country. Young people from here will be meeting with many homeless young people from the area and we will be leading workshop activities and games while we are there.”


The Letterkenny Youth Information Centre, managed by the Donegal Youth Service, has received funding from Leargas for a digital storytelling project. The amount awarded under the Leargas group initiative fund is €12,000. The project began in July and is working with a group of young people from ethnic minorities who live in the North West. The film is being created in partnership with Headliners in Derry and will be entitled “When Cultures Meet”. This year’s film will be designed to complement the series of 14 powerful images that the group created last year and that are currently on display at the Donegal Youth Service headquarters on the Port Road. If you would like to know more about this project or any other information about the Letterkenny Youth Information Centre summer program please contact Frankie McGreevy at 07491 29640.

PARTY IN THE PARK We take a look at the highlights of Party in the Park 2008, which took place on August 3rd in the Letterkenny Town Park. Top Left: Atomic Sheep perform at Party in the Park 08 - Middle Right: Gospel Choir - Top Right: Brendan McGlynn 2nd Row: Mark Ponsonby and his band who headlined Party in the Park 08 2nd Row Right: Donegal Town band Karma Army performing at Party in the Park 08 3rd Row- Bottom Middle: Asscracks and Flashbacks perform at Party in the Park 08 Bottom Right: Paul Mooney

PARTY IN THE PARK We take a look at Party in the Park 2008 Top Left: Aaron Patton, Sinead Duddy and Mary Duddy from Letterkenny Youth and Family Service who organised the games at Party in the Park 08 - Top Right: Dapo Egberongbe organised the Barbeque for Party in the Park 08 Middle Right : Ciaran Kavanagh in action Middle Left: Brandon Toomes and his Tug of War team who won the event at Party in the Park 08 Bottom Left: Youthlinks Project Samba Band perform at the event -Bottom Right: The Samba band enjoy a well earned break!

PARTY IN THE PARK We take a look at the Party in the Park 2008 Top Left: Selection of crowd enjoying El Diablo on stage during Party in the Park 08 - Top Right: Bernard & the lads relax outside the Dance Tent. Middle Left: Sinead Brennan and friends celebrate her 18th birthday at Party in the Park 08 - Middle Right: Brian, Kevin and freinds enjoying the day Bottom Left: Chris Blockley and friends celebrate his 19th birthday


Party in the Park is an annual event for the young people of the county, which took place this summer on August 3rd. The project is a partnership between Letterkenny Youth Information Centre, Donegal Youth Council and Regional Cultural Centre. We asked a number of those in the YIC & Loft what their highlights were.

Aoife Conway - 17 “I really enjoyed the first band, Boy Done Good, as it was really good to see them as I had never seen them before. I also enjoyed El Diablo, it was just a pity that the weather wasn’t so good. I was surprised by how many people turned up and the atmosphere was really good.”

Elaine McGonagle- 17 “My highlight of Party in the Park was Mark Ponsonby because it shows you through practice what level you can reach. The whole day was a good laugh, it was good to be able to hang around with friends and do something different for a day.”

David Toye - 17 “I thought it was class to see so many bands playing even though the weather was rubbish, and so many people turned out as well, and it was great crack going along and helping to set it all up. The dance tent was a bit disappointing but the carnival activities were very good, and so were the samba dance band.”

Jamie McGettigan - 16 “My personal highlights were Mark Ponsonby’s band. They are very professional and put on a very good show. Tricky Corners were also very good. They are a band that I have seen from the start and it is interesting to watch them flourish. Phantom Power also put on a very good show. The whole day was very good. It wasn’t funded and the stage may have been a little less extravagant than years before, but I think it really worked out.”

Theo Boakye - 18 “The highlight was hearing the music and seeing all the bands. I enjoyed the fact there were fun activities for people to join in with, and I enjoyed the Tug of War. I didn’t want to show off my strength but of course I had to!”

Paul Mooney - 15 “Probably having the chance to play was a highlight, because we were one of the first bands to get everybody up and it was just fun altogether as all the other bands were playing. There wasn’t any real downs to it apart from the weather as it was a bit wet. Barricade were really great. They are probably one of the best bands in Letterkenny and it was great to support them too.”

STAFF PROFILE What does your role entail? Basically my job is to develop and co-ordinate the Youth Information Centre and the LOFT, with the aim of providing a service which will meet the needs of the young people in and around Letterkenny.

Why did you want to come to work in the Loft/ YIC? In one way I always have been involved in youth work and really enjoy the diverse nature of the work. I enjoy working with and on behalf of young people. Indeed, it’s a career which provides great job satisfaction, so that’s why I was attracted to this position.

STAFF PROFILE-GARETH GIBSON Each edition of ECHO offers you an opportunity to get to know the staff and volunteers a bit better. This time around its the turn of Gareth Gibson, Youth Information Co-ordinator. Tell me about yourself Well, I’m married with three children, no pets and live in the country! I have a life long interest in sport and have been involved at a competitive level in a variety of sports including football, badminton, hockey and golf. More recently I have developed a keen interest in water skiing and wakeboarding.

What is your favourite thing about working here? One of the best things has to be that rarely is there two days the same, it’s a job with a lot of variety, from dealing with queries to organising international student exchanges. When a young person arrives with a query, it’s great to be of assistance, and you get a good sense of achievement when they leave, having had their query answered or when you see the positive changes in a young persons life as a result of continued involvement in the programmes we run. It’s also nice to win the odd game of killer! Anything you don’t like? Losing the odd game of killer. Manchester United.


We take a look at some of the highlights of the Loft LK Summer Programme

Top left Air Guitar Workshop Bottom Left Dance winners Top & Middle Right Peer Ed residential Bottom Right Quit Smoking Clinic in the Loft

WHAT’S COMING UP? STUDENT TRAVEL CARD The Student Travel Card is now available in the Youth Information Centre. The card offers discounts on travel and other items for young people. Call into the centre for more details

YIC YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE Are you interested in representing the views and opinions of young people? The Youth Information Centre Youth Advisory Committee is now recruiting new members. Talk to Frankie in the Youth Information Centre for details.

YIC & LOFT MEDIA GROUP The Media Group are now recruiting for September. If you would like to take part in print, radio and film making projects contact the centre now. The group meets every Tuesday evening 6-8pm.

LOFT FORMAL The next Loft Formal takes place at the end of September. If you would like to help organise the event talk to staff in the Loft now. DRUG AND ALCOHOL GROUP The Drug and Alcohol Education and Prevention group gets underway in September/ October. If you would like to take part talk to Jane in the Loft now. YOUNG WOMENS GROUP The Young Women’s group will be starting in September. If you are between 12 and 15 and would like to take part in a range of activities talk to Jane in the Loft now.


PEER EDUCATION The Loft Peer Education OCN accredited course starts in September. To book your place talk to Orla in the Loft. HOMEWORK CLUB The Loft Homework club gets underway in September. If you are a 1st Year in Secondary School and would like to take part contact the staff now. PREMIER LEAGUE The Loft will be showing live SKY Sports FA Premiership matches for the start of the new season. See in centre for more details. CULTURAL DIVERSITY GROUP The Youth Information Centre are currently setting up a new Cultural Diversity group. If you would like to participate talk to a member of staff in the YIC now.

About the Loft LK The Loft LK is a Youth Project and Adolescent Health Advice Café managed in partnership between the Donegal Youth Service with funding being provided by the Health Service Executive. Now enrolling! Youth Health - Art - Drama - Media Skills - Personal Development - Peer Leadership - Peer Education - Young Women’s group - Much more.... Call in and see how you can get involved. Loft LK Youth Project & Health Café 16-18 Port Road, Letterkenny, Co Donegal Phone 07491-88271 or email

About the Letterkenny Youth Information Centre The Youth Information Centre is a well established resource for the local community providing Young people and those who work with them a one stop shop for information and training opportunities in the following areas: Job and Housing Lists - Law and Justice - CV Preparation Travel opportunities - College applications - Student Travel card service - Practice for Driver Theory Test - Leadership training - Media skills training - Drop in service Letterkenny Youth Information Centre, 16-18 Port Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Tel 0749129640 or email


This is a quarterly newsletter produced by the Letterkenny Youth Information Centre featuring news and information for young people from the...