We were delighted to accept an invitation issued to our senior students by Andrew Doyle T.D. to visit Dáil Éireann. Mr. Byrne took the opportunity to teach the children about the Irish political system using the excellent resources available on the Oireachtas website. https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/visit-and-learn/teachers-and-students/
On arrival at the Dáil and having gone through security, we were greeted by Avril from Andrew Doyle’s office. Avril welcomed us and handed us over to our Usher, Dave, who provided us with an excellent tour. Dave told the children lots of interesting stories about the history of the building and the role of the Irish government. The children were impressed by the “springy carpet” and the “fancy” stairs and artwork on the walls. We saw some familiar faces along the corridors and some politicians even stopped for a chat with the students. Dave explained to the students that we must remain silent as we observed the Dáil chamber from the gallery above. On the day of our visit, the schedule included; Parliamentary Questions with the Minister for Finance, Leaders Questions, Questions on Promised Legislation and a Motion on the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund.
Some of the students recognised local T.D.s speaking in the chamber. The children must be commended on how respectful they were of their surroundings at all times. After observing some of the Dáil in session, we were led to Seanad Éireann, where we could observe live proceedings from a side gallery. We got friendly smiles and waves from some Senators and we were made to feel welcome at all times during our visit.
We took a lovely photograph of our female students sitting beneath a painting of all the female members of Dáil Éireann which was commissioned to commemorate 100 years of a woman’s right to vote.
Afterwards, the children enjoyed some play time and a picnic lunch in Stephen’s Green Park. It was a really interesting and enjoyable trip for all involved. Our sincerest thanks to Andrew Doyle T.D. for providing us with the opportunity.