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'rite of passage' Young people missing out on 'getting the shift' due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Seanad told

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Couple kissing outdoors - Lovers on a romantic date at sunset,girls stands on tiptoe to kiss her man - Close up on shoes

Couple kissing outdoors - Lovers on a romantic date at sunset,girls stands on tiptoe to kiss her man - Close up on shoes

Couple kissing outdoors - Lovers on a romantic date at sunset,girls stands on tiptoe to kiss her man - Close up on shoes

Young people are missing out on “getting the shift" in nightclubs due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Fianna Fail senator has said.

Wexford Senator Malcolm Byrne said he is concerned about young people who are not experiencing “rites of passages” enjoyed by other generations due to the global coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking in the Seanad, Mr Byrne said the last thing people in their late teens want to do over the weekend “is to sit at home with their mam and dad watching television”.

“They want to be out,” he added.

The former Fianna Fáil TD told his Seanad colleagues they were lucky to have had more freedom when they completed their Leaving Cert and went to college.

“It was when we went to nightclubs and, yes, when we got the shift, when we got into a relationship and when we learned about ourselves,” he said.

“Those things all make people smile, but they were important rites of passage. A whole generation of young people is now in danger of losing all that,” he added.

He noted a report by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the organisation SpunOut which found young people had become “ anxious, isolated and worried” due to the Covid restrictions.

"That is particularly the case because many of the avenues that were open to those aged from 17 to 20 years old are now closed. Gyms are closed, many sporting activities are restricted and access to arts, drama and music activities is also restricted,” he said.

"We can never make it up to those young people, but we must ensure they have support. I am aware that additional supports have been made available on the mental health side of things at second and third level,” he added.

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