An independent study on the attitudes of young people towards politics and politicians has found worrying levels of dissatisfaction with the way they are represented by political decision makers.
The survey, carried out by Transition Year students at St. Attracta’s School in Tubbercurry for their new politics website, oblivious.ie, revealed that 86 per cent of the 167 young people who take part do not trust politicians while 61 per cent would close the door if one was on their doorstep.
73 per cent also believe that politicians do not care about issues concerning young people.
Despite the study showing seriously low expectations with regards to engagement with politicians and representation of Ireland’s young people, an overwhelming majority acknowledge that politics has a big impact in their lives and believe that young people should have more of a say in decisions taken by their government.
In a questionnaire issued to 50 TDs and Senators, to which just 25 responded, 47 per cent agreed that Oireachtas was reflecting the views of young people and children ‘only a little’.
The study also included questions about the social media habits and interests of young people.60 per cent said they get their news from their mobile phones compared to 48 per cent who said television and just 16 per cent who said newspapers.49 per cent also said that they watch the news daily or at least 2-3 times per week.
Oblivious.ie is a challenge taken on by the TY students at St. Attracta’s to build and publicise a political news and information website targeted at young people. As well as surveying pupils in their school, they broadened the study to include the participation of other schools in Co Sligo, Co Cork and Co Meath.