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.

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.

A further 12 pilot clubs come together under the name Macra na Tuaithe � later to be called For�ige. 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'.

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.

The organisation receives its first funding from Department of Education.

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.

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.

Traditionally identified as a rural organisation Macra na Tuaithe � later For�ige - 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 For�ige clubs in urban areas.

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

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.

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.

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

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

For�ige partners with An Garda S�och�na 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.

For�ige partners with the Health Service Executive to develop community-based early intervention and prevention Neighbourhood Youth Projects.

For�ige develops a dedicated sexual health programme focused on developing positive and healthy relationships.

For�ige brings the internationally proven one to one mentoring programme, �Big Brothers, Big Sisters�, to Ireland.

For�ige brings the first Intel Computer Clubhouse to Europe.

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

For�ige secures the largest sponsorship of youth work in Ireland to grow and enhance its Youth Citizenship programme.

For�ige�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.

For�ige 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.

For�ige creates the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life programme and runs the first international leadership conference in Ireland.

For�ige 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.

For�ige develops a 10 year vision to be the youth organisation of choice among young people in Ireland.

A nationwide celebration of young people and their active citizenship achievements is celebrated with the first ever For�ige TV show, �Ireland�s Top Teens�.

A study by NUI Galway concludes that For�ige�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.

For�ige celebrates 60 years of expertise in youth work.

President Michael D. Higgins

Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Westlife member and star of The Voice, Kian Egan