Two students from Gaelcholáiste an Chláir had a unique opportunity to visit the European Parliament last month to mark Seachtain na Gaeilge, where they took part in parliamentary role-playing activities through the medium of Irish.
Transition Year students Julia Sanz and Colin Mannion joined students from six other Gaelcholáistí around Ireland as guests of Sinn Féin MEP for the South Region, Liadh Ní Riada. The Ennis students were accompanied by their Transition Year coordinator and science teacher, Ms Martina McNamara.
The Gaelcholáiste delegation visited the Parliamentarium, the official visitors’ centre of the European Parliament. There they took part in a role-playing game, designed to let them experience for themselves the process by which European legislation comes into being.
The role-playing experience at the Parliamentarium is available in all the EU’s official languages, so the Gaelcholáiste students were able to conduct their game in Irish. Divided into imaginary political groups, they became ‘Members of the European Parliament’ and had to learn to negotiate between themselves to build the future they want.
The Role-Play Game aims to show how EU legislation is created, from consulting interest groups and forming alliances to negotiating with other institutions and speaking to the media. Players work together and make difficult decisions as they tackle issues such as water scarcity and the implications of technological advances.
The Gaelcholáiste students also met with Seán Kelly MEP, leader of the Fine Gael group in the European Parliament.