FORTY-FIVE students from Wexford CBS paid a visit to Leinster House last Thursday as part of their preparation for their CSPE Action Project for their Junior Certificate next June. The group was welcomed by Minister Brendan Howlin, past-pupil of the school and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
The third year students who were accompanied by their teachers Mr. Ryan and Mr. Howlin, arrived in time for the Order of Business and they sat in on Leader’s Questions with the Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, Eamon Ó Cuiv, deputy leader of Fianna Fáil and Mary Lou McDonald, Vice-President of Sinn Fein.
The debates the boys were present for included unemployment, the proposed future sale of shareholdings in state assets, the competency of auditors, the Capital Expenditure review, banking and the future of Mullingar hospital.
Later the group were also present for a debate in the Séanad where the Minister of Transport Leo Varadkar was discussing the upcoming Road Traffic Act with senators.
Afterwards Minister Howlin met the CBS boys again and kindly provided them with some refreshments while answering their questions and informing them of a typical day in his hectic schedule, which started with meetings at 8 o’clock that morning.
He was asked questions about Wexford General Hospital, the possibility of Ireland hosting a Rugby World Cup and the school’s building programme.
The boys were taken on a guided tour of both Houses and saw portraits of all past taoisígh from John A. Costello to the newly installed portrait of Bertie Ahern. They were also shown portraits of Eamon de Valera, Michael Collins, Arthur Griffith and W.T. Cosgrave.
Public Representatives that the students also met on the day included Liam Twomey TD, John O’Mahoney TD, Brendan Ryan TD and Senator Denis Landy.
The pupils also had an opportunity to visit the National History Museum on their trip to Dublin where they saw the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Cross of Cong among other historical artefacts.