ASPIRE Inishowen Launched

Group of people.
Staff and Board members from Donegal ETB and Donegal Youth Service attending the local launch of Aspire Inishowen.

Donegal Youth Service (DYS) launched the new ASPIRE Inishowen Youth Project on Friday 30 September at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel in Buncrana. The project is funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Inclusion and Youth (DCEDIY) under the funding line UBU, Your Place, Your Space and administered by Donegal Education and Training Board (ETB).

The project is one of eight separate UBU projects across the country and is the first new mainstream youth funding to come to County Donegal in many decades. This local launch was preceded by the national launch of all eight projects by Minister Roderick O’Gorman in July.

DYS was the successful tender to provide a targeted programme for young people aged 10-24 years living in Buncrana, Carndonagh, Clonmany and Moville.

DYS has strong links across the Peninsula and is in a position to ‘hit the ground running’ with highly skilled staff who were assigned to the project. ASPIRE Inishowen commenced in January 2022 and has operated across the geographical areas since. Initial target numbers of participants engaging of 100 per year have already been exceeded, thus showing the need for such a service in the area.

The newly formed Youth Advisory Group attended the national launch with the two ASPIRE staff members and enjoyed an overnight stay in Dublin as well as taking in a tour of Glasnevin.

In attendance at the ASPIRE Inishowen launch were various professional agencies, County Councillors, Principals, teachers, School Completion Officers, youth groups, parents, Donegal ETB Youth Development Officer, staff and management, as well as DYS staff and management.

Group of young people.
Aspire Inishowen participants and staff.

Three of the Youth Advisory Group took a leading role as MC of the proceedings. Ms. Anne Mc Hugh, Chief Executive of Donegal ETB spoke of how appreciative Donegal ETB was to have attracted a line of funding to the county from DCEDIY. The Area Profile and Needs Assessment carried out by Donegal ETB was essential in obtaining the UBU Your Place, Your Space funding.

Ms. Lorraine Thompson Regional Director of DYS gave an overview of the ASPIRE Project and its successes to date.  Both speakers hoped to have additional money coming to Donegal as there is a high need for quality youth services such as ASPIRE Inishowen in other rural areas of the county.

Two videos were screened, the first was young people’s experiences of participating in ASPIRE Inishowen, the second was the Minister’s official launch.

Group of young people with instruments and adults.
Young people from Ceolan School of Music Youth Club with staff rom Donegal Youth Service and Donegal ETB.

Ceolan School of Music Youth Club entertained the crowd with fantastic traditional Irish melodies and we thank them for their entertainment and good humour. Thanks also go to the hotel and the staff for their attention to detail, food and service.  Thanks to Yvonne, the ASPIRE staff member for her hard work preparing for the event alongside the Youth Advisory Group. Finally, DYS would like to acknowledge everyone who came along to support the launch.

For further details on how you can become involved with ASPIRE Inishowen or any other DYS service, please contact Donegal Youth Service on 074 9129630, via email or check out our website on

Press release from Donegal Youth Service