Local students Lara Costello (St. Patrick’s Comprehensive School, Shannon) and Diarmuid O’Sullivan (St Joseph’s Spanish Point) have been elected as the Clare Regional Officers of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union.
The ISSU is the national representative body for second-level students in the Republic of Ireland. They took up their roles on January 1st, and are looking forward to working together on behalf of all students across the county and have already undergone training to assist them in their role. Both are very excited to begin their role and are looking forward to the year ahead.
Lara Costello is a 17 year old student in 6th Year in St Patrick’s Comprehensive School, Shannon. Lara has been on her school’s student council for over a year, now in her second year running, and is enthusiastic about working on a larger scale. She is passionate about equality issues, raising awareness about sexual harassment and RSE (Relationships & Sexual Education) reform.
Lara was recently put forward by the ISSU to be one of two candidates to work with OBESSU (Organising Bureau of European Schools Student Unions) to be involved in focus groups surrounding COVID-19 research, giving her the opportunity to work with students across Europe.
“My biggest goal for my term as Regional Officer is to get more students involved in the ISSU, particularly in Clare, as sometimes the counties in the West are forgotten. Every single student in Ireland deserves to be respected and to be listened to” she stated.
Diarmuid O’Sullivan is a 16 year old student in 5th Year in St. Joseph’s Spanish Point. One of the reasons Diarmuid wanted to run for the ISSU’s Regional Officer Body (ROB) was because it was his school’s first time being a part of the ISSU, which pushed him to go for the role as Regional Officer so he could represent his community and advocate for the issues and concerns of his fellow Clare students.
He hopes to focus on the wellbeing of students with depression and other mental health issues. “In these times, especially now students have to stay at home, depression can be a heavy hitter if the person can’t express their emotions, and it can be quite dangerous for their mental health. I feel having an open and safe environment can really help in some way to counteract mental health issues” he expressed.
The Regional Officers plan to work alongside local TDs and County Councillors during their term, and also to represent Clare students on a national level. The ISSU has played a central role in many of the decisions made around schools and exams during COVID, and plans to make sure student voices are heard at the local level for the year ahead.