Ruairi McKiernan inspires Second Year Students
On Thursday 13th October, Ruairi McKiernan paid a very welcome visit to Coolmine to meet 2 McKiernan, the class that are named in his honour.
Along with being founder of the pioneering SpunOut.ie youth organisation and mental health website, Ruairí is an award winning social innovator, campaigner, consultant, writer and speaker. He is a Fulbright scholar and a Presidential appointee to Ireland’s Council of State. He is a co-founder of the Uplift campaigning organisation, and part of the founding team of the A Lust for Life wellbeing movement. He is also a regular contributor to national media on social justice, youth and community issues, civic leadership and wellbeing.
Ruairi was curious to know who inspired the students, and their answers varied from family members to footballers, well-known personalities and the students themselves. He spoke to the young people of the difficult times many of these people have gone through, and how it is through overcoming adversity, having courage and working hard that success and happiness is achieved. He urged them to be kind to others, and to listen to those that may be struggling. He facilitated a frank and honest discussion with the students about their experiences of bullying. He also reminded them of the importance of talking to an adult when times are challenging and how damaging negative influences in the media and socially can be. He even provided the beat-box sounds while one of the students performed an impromptu moonwalk!
Ruairi spoke of his own time in school and college, and of how his travels throughout the world opened his eyes to injustice and the everyday struggles of mankind. This led him to work towards bringing change about, and his message to the students was that we must be the agents of change, rather than expecting others to make things happen.
The students were truly inspired by Ruairi and are incredibly proud to carry his name and his message in the school.