Saturday 24 February 2018

Kevin Myers: Take hope, there are sturdy lifeboats still breasting the deep swell, and their name is Youth

Kevin Myers

Over the past couple of years, I've had the enormous privilege of presenting the final of the Irish Independent/Higher Education Authority 'Making an Impact' competition.

This is for third-level students working on projects that really could change the way we live. Now I don't think I've ever been involved in anything which has given me so much pleasure, because all the young scholars who have reached the finals are all, without exception, truly dazzling in the range of their vision, their intellectual enquiry and the hope they offer.

Society has always needed the explosion of talent and ambition that people in their early 20s can provide. They are at that point in life where education has transformed their raw intellectual ability with discipline and scholarship -- yet still having the boundless keenness of the young, they are complete strangers to inhibition and to institutional inertia. So as we watch various slime-trailers from our banking sector slither off into retirement with golden handshakes plus pensions worth millions, and as the very cabinet politicians and senior civil servants who brought ruin on the nation wallow in index-linked luxury, we have no choice: we must look to the bright hope provided by the uncorrupted under-25s.

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