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Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Tralee, winners of the 2012 My Vision for Europe competition

Once upon a time in Euroland, a prince called Ireland met a princess called Euro. The story of their romance  carried the day for students from the Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. Kerry who were declared Republic of Ireland winners at the finals of the 2012 My Vision for Europe competition, which took place today.

Pat the Cope Gallagher, MEP for Ireland North West said.  "I was amazed by the imagination, the talent and the knowledge all the pupils demonstrated today. On this basis the future looks bright for Irish film making.  I pay a particular tribute to the teachers and students for St Columba's Stanorlar who have shown once again their commitment and interest in European issues".

Dublin Labour MEP Emer Costello said: "The students taking part have demonstrated in a creative way what it means to be a young person in today's Europe and their hopes as young people for Europe's future'.

Gay Mitchell MEP "I was pleased to meet the students today and to see they are taking an active interest in Europe. The whole European project is about respecting difference and living together in peace and harmony. The further we get from World War II the more we forget this is what the EU is all about. That is why the renewed interest of this generation is so important."

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 six regional finalists to progress to the next stage.  The six regional finalists presented their short videos, today, explaining how they had come up with the ideas and put them together.  All six videos were then shown on the IFI's big screen to a live audience

The prize:
Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk Tralee Co Kerry and Strathearn School in Belfast will be invited to bring 24 students each to Strasbourg in 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 in an EU language other than their own.  

The other finalists:
St. Dominic's College, Cabra, Dublin; St. Mary's Diocesan School, Drogheda, Co. Louth; St. Columba's College, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal and Assumption Grammar School, Co. Down

The organisers:
My Vision for Europe is organised by a partnership including the European Parliament Office in Ireland, European Movement Ireland, The European Studies Programme, Community Relations in Schools (CRIS), the European Consumer Centre, the European Commission office in Ireland and the Michael Sweetman Trust. The competition has also been supported by the Department of the Taoiseach through the Communicating Europe initiative.

Click below to see winning clips:  

Mercy School, Mounthawk, Tralee:

Strathearn School, Belfast:

Photos: Available from Fennell Photography at 01 6689766/0876477358 or
For further information, please contact Catherine Bunyan, Press Officer, European Parliament Office in Ireland at / 086 8559423, or contact Jenny Flynn on 01 662 5815 or


Click below to see images on the day:


Click below to see the entries of each school:

Video clip: St Dominic's College, Cabra, DublinVideo clip: Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. KerryVideo clip: St. Mary's Diocesan School, Drogheda, Co. LouthVideo clip: St. Columba's College, Stranorlar, Co. DonegalVideo clip: Strathearn School, BelfastVideo clip: Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch, Co. Down