Over 3,000 secondary students and teachers from all over the country attended last year’s HealthFest event in the RDS in Dublin, organised by the National Dairy Council and Safefood.

This year’s event is being held on Thursday 26 April at the national sports campus in Dublin. The free, full-day seminar is designed to educate young people about the importance of healthy eating and physical activity in a practical, engaging and fun environment.

A recent study indicates that there is a “startling drop-off” in fitness among secondary school students after the Junior Cert. The results of the study of more than 30,000 students throughout Ireland and a survey of PE teachers shows a firm trend towards neglecting fitness in exam years and in particular after the Junior Cert.

Developing good habits

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “It’s essential that teenagers are informed about the importance of healthy eating and making time for exercise. Developing good habits in our teens can help us to maintain a healthy attitude to food and physical activity as we progress through life. This year’s HealthFest aims to encourage secondary school students to stay fit and healthy by eating well and looking after their physical and mental wellbeing.”

At this year’s event there will be interactive sessions with the experts, including leading fitness expert Karl Henry, Orla Walsh, a leading Irish independent dietician, chef Adrian Martin who will demonstrate some of his favourite dishes and special guest speaker Eoghan McDermott of 2FM, who will speak about the importance of looking after mental health and wellbeing. The MC for the event is Michael Carey, a radio and TV presenter for TG4 .


Transition year provides young people with the skills to make a smooth transition between a highly structured environment up to Junior Cert, towards the more independent self-directed learning required for the final senior cycle at school.

HealthFest is designed to advise students about feeling and looking their best from the inside out, making that first impression and, above all, enjoying the ups and downs in life and turning them into positive learning experiences.

Read more

‘We’re stepping into an education phase': NDC in vegan myth-busting mode

Listen: image trumps science in milk v fake milk battle