Last week in his column, Damien O’Reilly asserted that “not all gangs are trouble”. Although I wholeheartedly agree with him, and it is sad that nice young lads get tarred with the same brush as the not-so-nice, unfortunately gangs of boys scare me. In the last month, I have taken the Luas from the office into Dublin city twice and both times have been decidedly unpleasant. Getting the Luas saves on parking, sitting in traffic and climate unfriendliness so it seems the best way to go. However, on one occasion, a gang of youths got on and spent their time either running up to people shouting in their faces or hurling empty naggins of vodka down the tram.
I got off at my stop, called my husband who travels on the Luas every day and asked what I should have done
Last week, I heard a young man hurl abuse (so vicious I could not repeat it) at a young German girl who touched off him with her backpack. I wasn’t sure she understood what he was saying and I beckoned her to come stand beside me but she stood her ground. I got off at my stop, called my husband who travels on the Luas every day and asked what I should have done. “Walk down the train next time, away from him and call the security.” I hope there won’t be a next time, but I fear there will.
I’m looking forward to watching them grow up and like every parent, I hope they have great lives
Amongst many, I have a sign on the wall in my kitchen that says: “I didn’t know my mother was so right, until I had children of my own.” In her case five girls and a boy, and in my case two girls. I’m looking forward to watching them grow up and like every parent, I hope they have great lives. Last year at a dinner, I was sitting beside a farmer friend who also has daughters and he asked me what age mine were. I told him and he responded with: “You have a good eight to 10 more years before your whole world falls apart.”
At the time I laughed but the things that have happened to young girls over the last few weeks and months have absolutely terrified me. A lot of us took liberties with our safety when we were young and got away with it, were we lucky or was it a different world?
Well I can watch it with her and we can have a conversation about what behaviour is appropriate and what is not
There is so much information available to young people today with the internet and reality TV shows and both can misinform. I was speaking with a colleague last week about Love Island and to my bemusement, first; he said he was watching it, and to my horror, second; with his 13-year-old daughter. I questioned this and he replied: “Well I can watch it with her and we can have a conversation about what behaviour is appropriate and what is not or she can watch it, as her friends do, on her phone in secret and make up her own mind.” His preference was to have the informed conversation. I digressed that this was probably the sensible approach. Young people need support to make informed choices.
This week, we feature people who are getting the very different types of support that they need in their lives. Going from the family support of our young cover girl Aoife Brennan, described by our photographer as “fierce”, who is heading to the RDS Dublin Horse Show this week to the caring professionals of RHS Home Care. Both types of support essential.