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21-03-2013

Graduate Competition 2013 Winners

This year’s winners of the Graduate competition www.graduate.ie travelled to Strasbourg to participate in Euroscola on 21st March.  They also visited the European Parliament in Brussels as part of their prize and met Pat the Cope Gallagher, MEP, there. Click below to read more.

The recent trip to Strasbourg was a memorable one. I accompanied Marie Moran and David Simpson as a leader and a group of 24 students from all over Ireland who were winners of the Graduate 2013 Competition. It was my first experience of such a trip and I was joined by a student Eimear Heffernan from my school in Presentation College Carlow.
Arrival at Dublin Airport was daunting, meeting a group of unknown students some of whom had never travelled before.  However, we got on our way and very shortly arrived in Brussels where we enjoyed a short while in the city before heading to The European Parliament.  It was fascinating to experience a working Parliament and we were very lucky to have a meeting arranged with Pat The Cope Gallagher. The students were fascinated by the experience of a busy Parliament and enthralled by everyone they met and what they saw.  After an overnight in a pleasant Brussels hostel we made our way to Strasbourg the following day.  That evening we enjoyed a long walk in the city.
The following morning bright and early we were on our way to Euroscola for an action packed day.  It was fascinating to experience the workings of the Parliament and to meet with teachers and students from other countries.  Our group found the experience so worthwhile and I am sure will have stories and memories which will stay with them forever,
Our final day in Strasbourg involved a walking tour and a boat trip to view the sites of the magnificent city.  It was such a charming city and of course the pleasant sunshine we experienced when there added to the splendour.  The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience as I did myself and I feel the memories of the trip will live with them forever. I’m quite sure that some of these kids would never get a chance to visit this beautiful city had the not had the good luck to win the trip.
Special thank you to Martin and the Graduate competition, the European Parliament Office in Ireland and all who made it possible. I can’t wait to return!
Mary Dunne