A unique youth leadership programme that brings together young people from Cork and Belfast to learn new skills was launched at the headquarters of Gas Networks Ireland today, Tuesday, October 2, by boxing champion Christina Desmond.

Teenagers from Terence Macswiney College, Bishopstown Forioge Group and Cobh Community School will embark on the programme that will link them with young people from the Seymour Hill and Colin Glen areas of Belfast.

 The programme tasks the participants with working on social action projects in a bid to improve their skillset through learning leadership techniques. As they do this, they also develop links between Cork and Belfast.

The event was launched by Irish boxing champion and European and World Championship competitor Christina Desmond.

Ian O’Flynn, Head of Commercial, Gas Networks Ireland said; “This is the fifth year of the Cork Youth Leadership Project and Gas Networks Ireland is delighted to be involved in such a positive community programme. We’ve a long history in the Cork community and we take great pride in being able to support this cross-border initiative. Congratulations to all of the young people who secured their place on the programme this year. This is a great opportunity for them to develop important leadership skills and to communicate with their peers from Belfast”.

John Mullins, Chair of Co-operation Ireland Cork Committee said; “Co-operation Ireland's Cork Leadership Programme provides the template of how we should nurture our young people as we face a future of change.

By participating they are not only learning vital skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives, but they are also building and maintaining relationships on a cross border basis that will develop and grow throughout the years to the benefit for both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

I want to congratulate everyone from Cork and Belfast who have signed up for this year’s programme on behalf of Co-operation Ireland's Cork Committee.”