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Representation in Ireland
News article1 March 2024Representation in Ireland3 min read

Maynooth Post Primary School in Co Kildare wins 2024 Model Council of the European Union debate

The team from Maynooth Post Primary School in Co Kildare representing Malta won first place at the Model Council of the EU annual debate for secondary school students, organised by the European Commission Representation in Ireland. 

Model Council 2024 debate - the winning team from Maynooth Post Primary School with their teacher, Head of the Commission Representation in Ireland Barbara Nolan, Barry Andrews MEP, and Martina FItzgerald

The event took place today at Dublin Castle with 80 debating participants, over 300 students and teachers from across Ireland in the cheering audience, and diplomats from EU Member States. 

The winning team –  Hannah Adams, Adrien Kells and Aoibhin Geraghty - and their classmates will travel to Strasbourg in October to take part in Euroscola, where they will become MEPs for a day in the European Parliament.

The Debate mirrors the format of a real meeting of the Council of the European Union. Teams of secondary school students from across Ireland, playing the role of Ministers for European Affairs from each EU Member State, discussed this year’s subject – reforming the EU for future enlargement.

The winners from Maynooth Post Primary School in Co Kildare represented Malta.

Ardscoil Rís from Dubin, representing the Netherlands and St Leo's College from Carlow representing Denmark took joint second place. Honourable mentions were given to the following schools: Coláiste Chill Mhantáin in Burkeen, Co Wicklow as Austria, Loreto Secondary School, Clonmel, Co Tipperary as Poland and Deansrath Community College in Clondalkin, Dublin as Germany. 

The Minister of State for European Affairs, Peter Burke T.D., said: 

Taking part in the Model Council is a worthwhile and valuable challenge for all students. Sitting around the table and contributing to negotiations at the heart of the European Union is an important task, yet can often seem a remote concept.  Encouraging participation in the Model Council makes our institutions and processes more accessible and tangible for young people, and hopefully will encourage them to stay involved in European politics into the future

The Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, Barbara Nolan, said: 

“Now in its 17th year, the Model Council is a practical but also enjoyable way of improving young people’s understanding of how the EU works, how decisions are made, and more importantly, how consensus is reached. Stepping into the shoes of EU politicians for a day is not for the faint hearted but these young people rose to the challenge and made their voices heard”. 

Member of the European Parliament, Barry Andrews, said: 

"I am honoured to be associated with the 2024 Model Council EU Debate with this year's theme of EU enlargement one of the most topical issues facing Member States in the next EU mandate. The EU Model Council provides an excellent opportunity for students to research, discuss and immerse themselves in European-wide issues that will broaden horizons and open up opportunities for them as they further their education into third level”.

Before the debate, the students from the participating 27 schools and their teachers research the national position of the country they are role-playing. The Embassies from each EU Member State engage with students in advance of the debate to help them prepare their arguments.

The 2024 Model Council of the EU debate was opened by the Minister of State for European Affairs, Peter Burke T.D

It was chaired by Martina Fitzgerald, CEO of Scale Ireland and former RTE political correspondent. 

It was adjudicated upon by an expert judging panel featuring Noelle O’Connell, CEO of the European Movement Ireland, Mary McCaughey, Head of Information and Communication, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, and Petar Natsev, Outreach and Engagement unit at the Council of the EU. 

Barry Andrews MEP gave the closing speech and presented the prizes to the winning teams.


Publication date
1 March 2024
Representation in Ireland