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YOUTHopia Future Fair in Donegal, Ireland
Over 150 young people from across Donegal and the north-west attended the Youthopia
Future Fair in Oakfield Park in Raphoe on Thursday last (27th April).
The impact of Cohesion Policy on young people in Europe was the focus of the YOUTHopia
Future Fair 2023. Cathaoirleach Liam Blaney welcomed Micheal O’Heanaigh, the Assembly of
European Regions Vice President for Youth, Culture & Tourism to the event who touched on
Cohesion Policy impacts.
YOUTHopia Future Fair highlighted the unique opportunities and challenges that young
people face, topics which all the keynote speakers touched upon. The speakers included one
of Europe’s youngest serial entrepreneurs, Jordan Casey who spoke about youth
entrepreneurship and his journey growing his own tech business.
Carmel Irandoust, the founder of NETOVE spoke about being an advocate for Diversity,
Equality, Inclusion, Justice and Peace. Local youth entrepreneur from Letterkenny, Sab
Medlar from SourcedBySab also talked about her journey in setting up her own business in
Donegal. Youth Climate Ambassador Taidhg Trocme provided an insightful and thought-
provoking talk on climate change.
This one day event had an action packed agenda allowing the participants to take part in
interactive workshops focused on topics including career pathways, skills for the future,
innovative project design and creating a professional LinkedIn profile and CV. Donegal Youth
Council MC Erin Gallagher and friends were on hand to keep the event running smoothly.
YOUTHopia was held in partnership with the North West Tertiary Education Cluster
comprised of the ATU, Donegal ETB, the North West Regional College and Ulster University.
JoAnne Kilmartin from the NWTEC said “with 2023 being the EU Year of Skills, the North
West Tertiary Education cluster was delighted to co-host the YOUTHopia event providing an
opportunity for young people in the region to learn first-hand about the future of work and
skills and the pathways available from all four educational providers in the North West City
The young people in attendance also got to experience fun activities provided by Donegal
Sports Partnerships “Lets Play Donegal!” initiative and enjoyed an amazing freestyle football
demonstration and tutorial by 4-time and current Irish Freestyle Football Champion, Conor
YOUTHopia is an EU funded project, which is led by the Assembly of European Regions.
Donegal County Council is a member of the Assembly of European Regions and a partner in
the YOUTHopia project along with partners from the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, Eastern
and Western Slovenia, Košice and Slovakia.