Young Fine Gael hosted a Seminar of Young European Christian Democrats in Dublin last weekend (1st-3rd October) in the RDS and Bewley's Hotel Ballsbridge.

The event was organised by YFG's International Secretary Colm Lauder, from Clontarf, currently a postgraduate student at the University of Cambridge. Mr. Lauder has lead the YFG network in Dublin North Central and this has provided key support to our TD, Richard Bruton, Councillors Naoise O'Muiri and Lord Mayor Cllr. Gerry Breen (all of whom were present at this event).

Among the topics discussed were the youth employment crisis in Ireland and, in particular, how best to use our membership of the European Union in helping get young Irish back to work. Thirty international guests from fellow European People's Party (EPP) member Christian Democratic parties attended the event alongside YFG members. The word 'recession' was informally banned from the proceedings, and the emphasis was on optimism in Ireland's future.

This event was supported by Fine Gael's four MEP's, all of whom were in attendance. The Leader of Fine Gael and Vice President of the EPP, Enda Kenny TD, opened the event on Friday last in the RDS Members Rooms.

President of Young Fine Gael Barry Walsh said today: "We were delighted to welcome our Christian Democratic colleagues to Dublin for this event. As one of the founding members of the Youth of the European People's Party, our connection with other centre-right organisations is a matter of great pride to us. We found the in depth discussions of the problems of youth employment and emigration with them deeply engaging and it was great to get their perspectives on the problems facing Ireland and Europe.

YFG's International Secretary, Colm Lauder, said that: "The attendance of the leaders of the Christian Democratic organisations at a seminar hosted by YFG is a tremendous vote of confidence in our organisation and shows the leadership role which Fine Gael is taking at a European level. The current political climate presents a common set of challenges to all centre-right political organisations in Europe - not least in Ireland."

Speakers included: Enda Kenny TD, Sean Barrett TD, Richard Bruton TD, Gay Mitchell MEP, Jim Higgins MEP, Sean Kelly MEP, Mairead McGuinness MEP and David Quinn (Iona Institute).

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