Political sparring in Dublin Castle as Offaly students debate renewable energy targets

Students from Tullamore College, St Brendan’s Community School and Coláiste na Sinne, together with schools from all over Ireland, got to experience political sparring at the highest level today in Dublin Castle. They were debating the hot topic of renewable energy targets in the eighth annual Model Council of the European Union. Tullamore role-played Austria while St Brendan’s played the part Romania and Coláiste na Sinne took on Croatia in an intense and well informed discussion among 27 other schools.

Minister of State for European Affairs, Dara Murphy T.D, and Tim Hayes, of the European Commission Representation in Ireland opened the debate, while Green Party Leader, Eamon Ryan chaired. RTE’s Duncan Stewart announced the winning and runner-up teams from Winners will be announced to you separately at around 4pm SCHOOL, TOWN and SCHOOL, TOWN respectively.

With fracking, pylons and windmills still prominent issues, renewable energy is a topic that today’s young people will have to take seriously. Tim Hayes says: “We already have renewable energy targets of 20% by 2020; the purpose of this debate is to get our young people thinking about the issue. Decisions about their futures are made in Dublin, Brussels and further afield, and it’s critical that our youth understand what is going on in this area and how decisions are arrived at.”

The event, which is organised by the European Commission Representation in Ireland, took place in The Printworks Building in Dublin Castle. 28 schools from across Ireland represented the 28 EU Member States.

School Address EU Member State
Coláiste na Sionna Banagher, Co. Offaly Croatia
Tullamore College Riverside, Tullamore Austria
St Brendan’s Community School Birr, Co. Offaly Romania


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