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Winner of Charlemagne Youth Prize for Ireland announced

The European Parliament Liaison Office in Dublin is delighted to announce that ISSU’s Tools for Inclusive Schools, a project headed by Ms Ellen O’Rourke, has been declared the winner of the Charlemagne Youth Prize for Ireland.


The project will now go forward to the Europe-wide final and will be invited to attend the European Award Ceremony in Aachen, Germany on 8 May.

The Irish national jury comprised: Nessa CHILDERS MEP, Deirdre CLUNE MEP and Sarah HASLAM on behalf of Foróige.  James TEMPLE-SMITHSON of the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland acted as non-voting Secretary to the jury.

Nessa Childers MEP said: ‘I was delighted to participate in the judging of this year’s Charlemagne Youth Prize in Ireland. The standard of all three entries was very high and I would like to congratulate ISSU’s Tools for Inclusive Schools and all the runners up. Although there could only be one winner from Ireland, I was very pleased to see such wonderful projects presented with such enthusiasm and vigour.’

Deirdre Clune MEP said: ‘I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to this year’s winner of the Irish section of the Charlemagne Youth Prize, ISSU’s Tools for Inclusive Schools. The Charlemagne Youth Prize is a fantastic opportunity for groups interested in the development of Europe, and for Europe itself. It was therefore, heartening to see such dynamic and thoughtful projects being put forward.”

Sarah Haslam said: “A huge congratulations to all the entries of this year's Charlemagne Youth Prize. The standard was very high, however there could only be one Irish winner and we were delighted to name ISSU’s Tools for Inclusive Schools as that winner. All the entrants should be very proud of themselves and I wish them all the very best in the future.”

On behalf of ISSU’s Tools for Inclusive Schools Ellen O’Rourke said: ‘The Irish Second Level Students' Union is delighted that our project has been awarded the Charlemagne Youth Prize. Our Tools for Inclusive schools project was a campaign run by students, for students, which focused on the integration of migrant and refugee students in second level schools in Ireland. 1 in 10 young people in Ireland today come from a migration background, representing over 163 nationalities in schools across the country. However, this diversity is an aspect of our education system which is rarely talked about, and much less celebrated. As the representative body for second-level student councils in Ireland, we wanted to find out more about the issues facing migrant students, and what we, as the students union, could do to help. We created a 'Charter for Inclusive Schools', outlining students demands to make our schools more inclusive. We worked with our European partner organisation OBESSU to bring this project about and to share our findings with other students across the continent. We hope that with this prize, our Charter will continue to serve as a reference point to promote inclusion in schools and celebrate diversity on a local, national and international level.’

Each year since 2008, the European Parliament together with the ‘Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen’ have been inviting young people from all EU Member States to submit projects run by and for young people for the Charlemagne Youth Prize.

Learn more about the Charlemagne Youth Prize and see how you can get involved.