Coláiste Treasa student Hannah is a winner in Rotary Youth Leadership Competition

Colaiste Treasa Kanturk student student Hannah Walsh receiving her Rotary Youth Leadership Development award from Capt. Sean Fitzgerald, District Governor of Rotary Ireland, and Patrick O’Riordan, Head of Public Affairs with the European Parliament in Ireland, at an event at Europe House in Dublin recently. Photo: Collette Creative Photography.

Coláiste Treasa Kanturk student, Hannah Walsh, was among a group of just 24 teenagers from all over the island of Ireland to be presented with Rotary Youth Leadership Development certificates at the European Parliament’s offices in Dublin recently. The competition, which is one of Rotary Ireland’s longest running youth projects, rewards young people with clear leadership potential based on their extra-curricular activities. It is run in conjunction with the European Parliament Liaison Office in Dublin and Euroscola in Strasbourg.
Hannah received her certificate from Rotary Ireland District Governor Captain Sean Fitzgerald, and Patrick O’Riordan, Head of Public Affairs at the European Parliament’s office in Ireland.
After being disrupted by Covid for the last two years, this year saw a welcome return to the regular itinerary which involved visits to Belfast, Dublin, and Strasbourg. During the six-day, all-expenses-paid trip the competition winners visited Belfast City Hall and Stormont where they met and chatted with politicians from various parties. Then it was on to Europe House in Dublin where they were presented with their certificates before a trip to Dáil Eireann where they met the Minister for Education Norma Foley and several TDs. They then flew to Frankfurt for a two-day visit to Strasbourg. After being formally welcomed by the President of the European Parliament, Robert Metsola, the students took part in an interactive workshop which allowed them to discuss and vote on amendments to an EU proposal on climate action targets. The students also enjoyed a walking tour of Strasbourg, met students from a host of other countries before enjoying some retail therapy!
Hannah, who is a previous winner in the BT Young Scientist Competition, is involved in her student council, the Irish Girl Guides and is a member of the Cork ETB School of Music Youth Orchestra. She said she would highly recommend the competition to young people. “The highlight of the week was walking into the hemicycle of the European Parliament but I learned so much more than I had envisioned. I took part in so many interesting discussions, learned invaluable skills I can use for the rest of my life, and made so many friends. There are very few competitions that offer such a unique and rewarding prize and I know I will look back fondly on this week for the rest of my life,” she said.
Captain Sean Fitzgerald, District Governor of Rotary Ireland said the knowledge and enthusiasm of the students was hugely impressive. “I would urge as many young people as possible from every part of the island to take part in next year’s competition,” Mr Fitzgerald said.