Mairead McGuinness MEP for Mayo and first Vice-President of the European Parliament, today (Tuesday 23rd May) undertook an official visit to St. Aidan’s National School, Kiltimagh.
The school is participating in the Blue Star programme which aims to foster, through classroom projects and activities, better knowledge and understanding amongst primary pupils about the European Union.
Ms McGuinness said it was a most rewarding visit. “Given the sad day that was in it with the Manchester tragedy it brought home to everyone the importance of solidarity and international co-operation,” she said.
“We remembered all those affected by the terrorist attack in Manchester and had a minute’s silence and Fr Paddy Kilcoyne led us in a prayer.
“We talked about the history of the EU, about peace and how the EU was founded to make sure that peace is sustained by countries working together.”
“We also had an invigorating discussion about Brexit and its implications for Ireland and for the wider EU.
“The pupils showed a deep sense of understanding and curiosity about the workings of the EU and the role MEPs play on behalf of citizens.
“They were able to connect their own daily experiences and futures with what’s happening in their wider European world.
“Once children are exposed through programmes like the Blue Star one they just get the connections so readily, how what may be happening in one country impacts another.
“They are so open to learning and great credit is due to school Principal Anne Cunnane and in particular to Brendan Donnellan, 6th Class teacher with responsibility for the Blue Star programme.
“Visiting schools is always a joy and a great learning experience and today’s visit which combined culture, history, music and dance was particularly enjoyable,” the MEP added.
She said the display of local foods was also very impressive.