Gavin Hyland argues that Enda Kenny must keep the nation's youth onside...
Politicians and the youth of Ireland have been engaged in an on-off love affair for many generations, but the waters may be calming in this traditionally rocky relationship. 
 
It looked like a long road to recovery in the relationship between the youth and politicians, but perhaps we are seeing accelerated progress. 
 
The crash in the economy following the Fianna Fáil and Green Party coalition had severe effects on the whole country, but young people were particularly victimised. 
 
Mass emigration saw tens of thousands of Ireland's best and brightest say tearful goodbyes to family and friends in order to find a life on different shores.
 
If nothing else, we are seeing opportunities to build a life in Ireland again. Young people require at least an opportunity to strive in their homeland.
 
Tensions have eased between Ireland's younger generation and the people in power. 
 
We are seeing a recovering Irish economy and the people are feeling the effects; budget 2015 was the first budget not to include wholesale cuts to departments and saw a minor increase to some social welfare payments. 
 
A growing economy benefits students as they can afford to live outside the family home and gain some autonomy, social events are affordable and focus can return to studies rather than financial difficulties. 
 
This Government is far from flawless, but they have perhaps portrayed a transparency which was deeply lacking in previous governments and which is being appreciated. 
 
The banking inquiry, the GSOC investigation and the subsistence grant afforded to the controversial water charges all show that those in power are listening to the people and making some concessions.
 
As Fine Gael gained power in 2011 college fees were rising, unemployment was rising and emigration was rising. Now the economy is stabilizing, unemployment is falling and so is the animosity.
 
The rent crises is another potential sticking point for the Government, as year on year, rent rises cause students to struggle for accommodation and must settle for long and uncomfortable commutes. 
 
A positive result in the rent crises will take the relationship between Government and students to the next level.
 
The campaigning and passing of the "Yes" vote has led to high morale, politically, in Ireland and saw youth and the Government on the same side which is a rare occurrence. 
 
The worldwide publicity on the referendum gave a sense of much needed pride to a country which has been receiving negative international news in recent years
 
A political shift can be seen in Europe with Greece most notably changing to a left-wing party in the face of austerity, so perhaps credit is due to Enda Kenny and other members of the Government, to have young people onside during a time of economic strife is an accomplishment. 
 
Latest polls have the Government parties (Labour and Fine Gael) gaining in popularity, while opposition loses support. 
 
Perhaps the shift is as much about the opposition parties mistakes rather than any outstanding performance by the Government.
 
Fianna Fáil had massive negative press when Senator Averil Power walked out of the party with staunch criticism for leader Micheál Martin. 
 
Sinn Féin are enjoying their role as the main opposition party, but the sex abuse scandal brought to light by Mairia Cahill damaged their political momentum.
 
Whatever the reason for the amicable nature between politicians and students, it is commendable that relations are so good so soon after students felt betrayed by their country. 
 
The struggle to gain this pleasant relationship is only half the battle, maintaining it will prove to be just as difficult. 
 
With the election less than a year away it is in the interest of Mr Kenny to keep the nation's youth onside.