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A fictional 'Captain Europe' wins the day for Coláiste Chiaráin students

Twenty four Transition Year students from Coláiste Chiaráin in Leixlip succeeded in wowing the panel of judges at today's finals of the 2011 My Vision for Europe competition.  The students explained to the judges why they had chosen to put together a 3-minute video examining the complexities and implications of EU Member State stereotypes and the powers of a fictional 'Captain Europe' who called on the Member States to 'eurofy'.   The Coláiste Chiaráin students, together with students from the Methodist College in Belfast, will participate in the European Parliament's Euroscola programme in Strasbourg on 19 May. Announcing the winners of this year's competition, the Oscar-nominated Nicky Phelan of Brown Bag films said 'I hope this experience will inspire these students to become the next generation of Irish film-makers.'

Five Irish secondary schools, the chosen regional finalists for this year's My Vision for Europe competition, competed today to impress a judging panel which included Nicky Phelan of Brown Bag films, Alicia McGivern, Head of Education at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) in Dublin and Francis Jacobs, Head of the European Parliament Office in Ireland.  The students presented their short videos, explaining how they had come up with the ideas and put them together.  All five videos were then shown on the IFI's big screen to a live audience which included Labour Party MEP Proinsias De Rossa.

Both Alicia McGivern and Francis Jacobs emphasised that the videos 'reminded us that the European Union is not about dry policies, but about people, teamwork and solidarity.'  Alicia also commented that 'this competition is a brilliant example of film education.'

Andrea Pappin, of the European Movement Ireland, who acted as compere at today's event, said of the competition that 'it's great to see the creativity in our young people come to life.'

The competition:
Transition Year classes throughout Ireland submitted short, 4-minute videos, based on one of four 'challenges'.  The videos were intended to represent their 'Vision for Europe' and were uploaded, in each case, on to You Tube.  In February of this year, a panel of judges selected five regional finalists to progress to the next stage.  The five finalists present today represented the five European Parliament constituencies on the island of Ireland.  

The prize:
Coláiste Chiaráin from Leixlip and Methodist College, Belfast will be invited to bring 24 students each to Strasbourg on 19 May to participate in the European Parliament's Euroscola event. During this one-day event, the winning students have the opportunity to sit in the EP's chamber and to get a sense of the work of an MEP. The participating students take part in discussions on topical European subjects and engage in group activities, interacting with students from other EU member states and communicating using an EU language other than their own.  

The other finalists:
Dublin - Loreto Abbey, Dalkey - the students chose to demonstrate the rights available to citizens of EU Member States via the powers of 'Captain Europe'.  The video included a song composed by the students.
North West - Mercy College, Sligo - the students portrayed a future European Union (EU), concluding that although the Member States arrived into the EU as strangers, they ended up as friends.
South - Presentation Secondary School, Thurles - the students used a studio/roving reporter approach to portray a future European Union (EU) and its achievements.

The organisers:
My Vision for Europe is organised by a partnership including the European Parliament Office in Ireland, the European Movement Ireland, The European Studies Programme, Community Relations in Schools (CRIS), the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the Michael Sweetman Trust.

Photos: Available from Fennell Photography at 01 6689766/086 2617493 or

View Coláiste Chiaráin's My Vision for Europe video

For further information, please contact Eimear Ní Bhroin, Press Officer on 086 8559423 /