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NYCI Consultation with Member Organisations on the “Vision for Youth Work”

January 26, 2021 @ 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm GMT


The Vision for Youth Work document will be an ambitious and forward-looking policy paper setting out NYCI’s view and perspective on the future of youth work in Ireland up to 2030. This is an opportunity for you and your organisation to help shape the vision.




Free of charge


2:30pm – 4:30pm


The NYCI Research and Policy team will detail the key themes in the NYCI “Vision for Youth Work” document and get the input of member organisations on the document to help shape the vision.


Welcome and Introductions from Co Chairs

Ms Marie-Claire McAleer and Mr James Doorley                                                        

Presentation of Key Themes                 

Introduction of panellists

Inputs from panellists on specific themes they think are important and why:

  • Mr Eddie D’Arcy
  • Mr Ivan McMahon
  • Ms Claire Barkey  

Moderated panel discussion and questions from the online audience

Breakout discussion groups exploring the following questions:

  • Do you agree with the proposed themes arising from the extensive consultation with stakeholders?
  • If you do not agree, which one(s) do you disagree with and why?
  • Are there any issues missing and if so, what additional topic(s) would you propose to include?
  • Why do you think this topic is important to include in a high-level vision for the youth sector for the next 10 years?

Closing Remarks from Ms. Mary Cunningham, NYCI CEO



James Doorley

James Doorley is Deputy Director of NYCI with responsibility for Policy and Advocacy. Prior to this he worked in the youth, community development and disability sector. He represents the community and voluntary Sector on the National Economic and Social Council. He has qualifications in youth and community work, applied social science, law and corporate governance. 


Marie-Claire McAleer

Marie Claire McAleer is head of research and policy at the National Youth Council of Ireland. A graduate of University College Dublin, she is currently undertaking a Doctorate in Social Science at University College Cork. Her research interests lie in the areas of child and youth poverty, youth political engagement and participation, youth migration and youth unemployment. Marie-Claire is actively involved in the Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland. She is also a member of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and the Pool of European Youth Researchers.


Eddie D’Arcy

Eddie D’Arcy has been a professional youth worker since the early 1980’s having worked in Coolure House Adventure Centre initially while studying at UCD and then as Assistant Director. Eddie moved to work as a community youth worker in Neilstown in 1983 and over 30 years’ service there, developed the Ronanstown Youth Service. During his time in Ronanstown he developed the first Garda Youth Diversion Project. On leaving CYC when they were taken over by Crosscare in 2013 Eddie began lecturing on the Youth Work course in DKIT, and in 2015 he took on a role with Solas Project and became their CEO in 2016 while continuing to lecture.

During his career in Youth Work Eddie also played an active role with NYCI including membership of the Board as both Vice President and President. He received an award from NYCI as part of their 25 years celebration for his role in developing Irish Youth Work and was also awarded the Dr John O’Connell Award in 2014 from NUI Maynooth. Eddie has served on a number of Government Task Forces over the years particularly in relation to the area of Youth Offending. He is the author of a text on Ethical Youth Work which was commissioned by NSETS for the Irish Youth Work students.


Ivan McMahon

Born in Donegal, Ivan has spent most of his life studying or working in Cork. He loves spending “soul-time” in Donegal hiking and exploring its amazing coastline! Ivan trained and worked as a teacher and as an archaeologist. Ivan has spent nearly 36 years working in different roles in the YMCA, including as a youth worker, development officer and senior manager/CEO. He retired in autumn 2019 and is enjoying the freedom to follow his interests and passions. His only involvement in youth work today is through line managing some parish-based youth workers.


Claire Barkey

Claire Barkey is CEO of the Irish Girl Guides. She is a Community Youth Work graduate from University of Ulster. Her professional career began as a youth worker with Foróige in Blanchardstown, then onto Youth Work Ireland Cavan Monaghan, Sphere 17 Regional Youth Service and now Irish Girl Guides. Claire holds a Master’s in Management in the Community and Voluntary Sector from All Hallows, DCU.

Her passion for youth work stems back to her childhood. She grew up in rural Ireland and experienced the importance of voluntary clubs and how instrumental they were to supporting young people’s development. Claire believes the role of youth workers is to inspire and utilise all opportunities to empower and to never say no, so that young people have the belief that there are no limits to their development.


Mary Cunningham

Mary Cunningham is the CEO of the National Youth Council of Ireland a post she has held since 2002. She is currently Vice Chair of the National Children and Young People’s Advisory Council and a member of North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work. She is currently on the Board of Jigsaw and is chair of their Governance and HR Sub-Committee. Mary holds an MBA from the University of Ulster.


  • Volunteers and Staff in NYCI Member Organisations


  • James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director & Marie-Claire McAleer, NYCI Head of Research and Policy


We are no longer taking expressions of interest as this event is oversubscribed.


January 26, 2021
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm GMT
Event Category:


National Youth Council of Ireland


Online (Zoom)
Ireland + Google Map