Young people discuss the reality of life in the Dublin suburb of Ballymun.

A group of young people from Clongowes Wood College visited Ballymun to discover what life is really like in the area.

Tom, a student at Clongowes, confesses to having a stupid idea of Ballymun dominated by fear, drugs and crime. This was until he visited the SOS Centre and met people from Ballymun and realised his preconceived ideas were far from the reality.

The people were just very normal.

Huey from the SOS Centre in Ballymun says he was just as nervous as Tom meeting people from Clongowes. He too had preconceived ideas of what they would be like but again found that they were just normal people.

I felt that maybe they'd be a little bit sort of condescending... coming into a poor area.

Another Clongowes student says that the purpose of their visit was to see life in Ballymun with their own eyes. Media coverage has led him and others to think that Ballymun was a bad place. His experience of being in the area differed greatly to how it is presented in the media. He specifically points to the positive community spirit with groups like the SOS Centre providing much needed services for people.

There is a positive feeling in Ballymun. The people are doing things.

Other members of the studio audience talk about how the media presents Ballymun.. One young man says that while there have been seven balcony deaths in Ballymun, six of the people were not from Ballymun. While Ballymun has problems, the local community has responded. There are currently 90 voluntary groups operating in Ballymun striving to address the problems.

One young woman who lives in Ballymun says that she has never witnessed the strength of community care in any other place she has lived.

This episode of 'Facts of Life' was broadcast on 17 June 1987. The presenter is Carolyn Fisher.