Brussels beckons as Pres girls are winners

Brussels bound: Gemma Murphy, Avril Ahern, Eilís Mullane and Ali O’Donoghue

FOUR Killarney students keeping a close eye on European affairs have made such an impact that they have been invited to Brussels to visit the European Parliament in April.

Eilís Mullane, Gemma Murphy, Ali O’Donoghue and Avril Ahern, transition year students at St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School, submitted a winning entry to an EU-run competition and their project, titled What we want the European Union to look like in 2046, 25 years from now, hugely impressed the adjudicators.

Ireland South MEP Billy Kelleher contacted the girls to relay the exciting news that they and a teacher are invited Brussels to visit the European Parliament in April 2022.

MEP Kelleher told the Pres girls that he is acutely aware of the need to ensure that the voices and ideas of secondary school students are heard by those making decisions about the future of Europe.

MEP Billy Kelleher

After an initial brainstorming session, Ali, Avril, Eilís and Gemma prepared a draft and decided to focus on following topics:

  • Should the EU be bigger?
  • What powers will it have?
  • What will Ireland’s role be?
  • Should we move to directly elected governments?

The presentation was completed using PowerPoint, TikTok, Instagram, an online noticeboard, a voiceover and slides and the students conducted interviews and surveys to get a broader perspective of people’s opinions with the EU website proving to be a very useful reference tool.

“A standout moment for us was visiting a primary school where we presented some interesting facts about the EU and we were impressed by what pupils knew already,” the girls said.