Europe Day – visit by Deirdre Clune MEP
Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael Member of Parliament for the Ireland South constituency visited Scoil Mhuire, Ennistymon on May 23rd. She spoke eloquently to the assembly of students about her background in politics following in her father and grandfather’s footsteps and her views on a myriad of issues including climate change, the migrant crisis and Brexit. Deirdre explained to the students how fortunate they are to be part of Europe and asked them to value the freedoms they have to have an opinion and express that opinion through freedom of speech and of thought. She outlined other benefits of being in the EU, in particular worker’s rights which have been established such as holiday pay, maternity rights, minimum wage and equality in the workplace. She readily admitted that Brexit puts Ireland in a very difficult situation being far away from central Europe. She did add however that over 80% of Irish citizens wish to stay in Europe and we must look positively to a pro-European and promising future. A question and answer session followed Deirdre’s address and a number of students asked questions from the floor. When questioned about Enda Kenny’s departure from leadership Deirdre remarked that she believed it was the right time for him to go and that he had been impressive in Brexit negotiations and admired in Europe. She also admitted that she doesn’t like Donald Trump’s attitude and wouldn’t consider him as an effective politician. During her visit she was introduced to the Transition Year students and viewed their European Studies projects with great interest. As a token of appreciation Deirdre was presented with a print by local artist Philip Morrisson of the Burren Dolmen.