Cillian Murphy spoke at NUI Galway today to 200 secondary school students about the importance of empathy in his work as an actor, as part of Youth Empathy Day.
The Transition Year students from six secondary schools in Galway, Dublin and Tipperary gathered in NUI Galway for the event hosted by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre.
All of the students are taking part in a new pilot education programme called Activating Social Empathy, which supports adolescents to learn empathy in schools.
Actor and Patron of the Centre, Cillian Murphy spoke to the students about the importance of empathy in his work as an actor.
Students attending the Youth Empathy Day travelled from CBC Monkstown in Dublin; Comeragh College, County Tipperary; Grange Community College, Donaghmede, County Dublin; Dominican College Galway; Stratford College, Rathfarnham, Dublin and Galway Community College.
Speaking about the event, Cillian Murphy said: “You can’t really be an actor without employing empathy as a very important tool in your arsenal.
“If I can help young people to see that everyone has a different story and everyone’s story is valuable, hopefully that will help them in the future.
“It’s helping kids help themselves.
“It seems to me that if we’re going to help or encourage young people to behave in a certain way, then they should be at the forefront of it, and they should be telling us how they feel and telling us what they need, which is what this day is about.”