We look back in celebration at the wonderful
achievements of Foróige over the past 60 years.

Rollover icons to check out what we've done over the past 60 years.
Click on the years or scroll left and right through the decades using the arrows.

1952
The first Foróige Club – then called Macra na Tuaithe - is founded in Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny on March 14th. "There can be no remedy for our manifold national ills if we cannot create a spirit of courage and enterprise in our young people," says then Minister for Education, Seán Moylan.

1953
A further 12 pilot clubs come together under the name Macra na Tuaithe – later to be called Foróige. The voluntary organisation is built on principles pioneered by the 4H (Head, Heart, Hands and Health) youth movement in the United States, those of individual empowerment and 'learning by doing'.

1958
A £30,000 grant secured from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of America helps fund an expansion of Macra na Tuaithe activities. New education programmes and a system of awards are launched.

1963
The organisation receives its first funding from Department of Education.

1969
Seven new educational programmes are introduced. These programmes - covering such areas as Citizenship, Leadership, Family & Life Skills, Culture and Science & Health - mark a major advance in the provision of out-of-school education in Ireland.

1969
The reach of the organisation expands with the employment of a network of Regional Youth Officers, thanks to a £62,650 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of America.

1971
Traditionally identified as a rural organisation Macra na Tuaithe – later Foróige - begins its expansion into urban areas with the opening of a permanent headquarters in Dublin and builds on this strategic decision with the development of new Foróige clubs in urban areas.

1971
First national conference for the organisation’s volunteers takes place in Ternmonfeckin, County Louth. The conference becomes an annual event which continues today.

1974
Despite achieving both a 700% increase in the numbers trained by the organisation and a “very substantial increase in membership”, fiscal pressures forces the organisation to reduce investment in staff and training.

1979
A turning point for Macra na Tuaithe. The Government increases funding to the organisation and – for the first time – recognises that youth work is an integral part of the national education system.

1981
Macra na Tuaithe is renamed Foróige, the National Youth Development Organisation. The new name is aimed at facilitating further expansion into growing urban areas.

1982
Foróige is the first organisation to provide general youth work services in disadvantaged areas with the establishment of youth services in Tallaght and Blanchardstown.

1991
Foróige partners with An Garda Síochána to roll out one of the first Garda Youth Diversion Projects in the country. The projects aim to divert young people from becoming involved or further involved in anti-social or criminal behaviour.

1996
Foróige partners with the Health Service Executive to develop community-based early intervention and prevention Neighbourhood Youth Projects.

1998
Foróige develops a dedicated sexual health programme focused on developing positive and healthy relationships.

2000
Foróige brings the internationally proven one to one mentoring programme, ‘Big Brothers, Big Sisters’, to Ireland.

2001
Foróige brings the first Intel Computer Clubhouse to Europe.

2002
In partnership with the HSE, Foróige establishes Ireland’s first youth café. The Gaff in Galway is a space for young people to chill and hang out with their friends in a safe and secure environment.

2006
Foróige secures the largest sponsorship of youth work in Ireland to grow and enhance its Youth Citizenship programme.

2009
Foróige’s Best Practise Unit is established to facilitate the development of the organisation in becoming a leader in the field of youth work. It is the first of its kind in Ireland.

2009
Foróige takes over the operation of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), which was launched in Ireland in 2004. The cutting edge, world recognised, youth entrepreneurship education and development programme is affiliated to NFTE International which originated in the USA.

2009
Foróige creates the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life programme and runs the first international leadership conference in Ireland.

2009
Foróige becomes a partner organisation in the UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement. It is the first UNESCO Chair to be awarded to the Republic of Ireland.

2010
Foróige develops a 10 year vision to be the youth organisation of choice among young people in Ireland.

2010
A nationwide celebration of young people and their active citizenship achievements is celebrated with the first ever Foróige TV show, ‘Ireland’s Top Teens’.

2011
A study by NUI Galway concludes that Foróige’s mentoring programme – ‘Big Brothers Big Sisters’ - is an ‘extremely valuable, low-cost intervention for young people who need support'. It becomes the first proven youth work programme is Ireland.

2012
Foróige celebrates 60 years of expertise in youth work.

President Michael D. Higgins

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Westlife member and star of The Voice, Kian Egan