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Waterford student wins trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg for her class

Katie Ní Urmholtaigh, a second year student from Meánscoil San Nioclás, An Rinn, Co. Waterford has won this year's European Parliament bookmark competition and will now bring the rest of her class to Strasbourg on 10 June to participate in the European Parliament's Junior Euroscola programme.  The competition invited 14-16 year old students to design a bookmark based on one of six themes.  Katie gave her bookmark the title 'Europe sowing the seed for a better environment.'

Having received hundreds of entries for this year's competition, the Irish MEPs were invited to pick the winner from a selection of ten entries.  Fine Gael MEP Gay Mitchell said of Katie's entry that it portrayed 'a metaphor for a Europe that we all aspire to.'  Speaking of the challenges associated with climate change and the environment, Mr Mitchell said that 'the imagery of the tree lends itself to the fact that Europe is at the root of change on these important issues.'

Writing about her entry, Katie said that 'the roots in my tree connect the countries of the EU, signifying us growing and working as a union.  The tree is a natural resource, keeping the soil healthy and improving the quality of our air.  We must work together to preserve the environment for us and for future generations.'

The other finalists:
- Jo Burke from Pobalscoil na Tríonóide in Youghal, Co. Cork
- Naoimh Moynihan, Sinead Hatt and Orla Galvin from Saint Angela's School, Ballytruckle, Co. Waterford
- Tara O'Gorman from Saint Michael's Community College in Kilmihil, Co. Clare
- Richard Donnelly Devine from Franciscan College, Gormanston, Co. Meath
- Méabh Ruiséal from Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, Gleann Maghair, Co. Chorcaí
- Rebecca Sherwin from Saint Joseph's Secondary School, Rush, Co. Dublin
- Christiane Towers from Saint Joseph's Secondary School, Rush, Co. Dublin
- Leah Ní Shúilleabháin from Coláiste an Phiarsaigh, Gleann Maghair, Co. Chorcaí
- James Mulligan from Corran College, Ballymote, Co. Sligo

A selection of the entries submitted by the finalists will be displayed in the windows of the European Parliament offices on Molesworth Street in Dublin and on the website of the European Parliament Office in Ireland -

The prize: Katie and 23 of her classmates will participate in the European Parliament's Junior Euroscola event on Friday, 10 June in Strasbourg. During this one-day event at the European Parliament (EP), the Irish 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 organisers:
This competition was organised in conjunction with the Professional Development Service for Teachers.


For further information about this competition or to receive an image of Katie's bookmark, please contact Eimear Ní Bhroin, Press Officer, European Parliament Office in Ireland at / 086 8559423 or visit