Posted: 6th February 2015

Making the ordinary, extraordinary

On the 16th January, six boys from Syntax (Lorcáin O’Shea, Lorcan Barrett, Michael O’Brien, Shane Hogan, Sean Ojejinmi and Conor Galvin) and four boys from Poetry (Jack Savage, Hugh Farrell, Steven-Thomas Gray and Andrew Corrigan) headed to Athlone to the Leinster Session of the European Youth Parliament. The theme of the session was ‘Making the ordinary, extraordinary’, and this could be seen throughout the entire weekend. The first day we were greeted by a whole host of friendly faces. Gráinne Hawkes was the president of the board and she began the weekend at the opening ceremony, where she spoke about being confident and making strong points.

After an interesting opening ceremony, we split up into our committees and we made our way our dedicated committee rooms. There were many committees such as FEMM: Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, and INTA: Committee on International Trade. The range of topics discussed varied from data protection to Ebola. In our Committee rooms we played a variety of team building games to “Break the Ice”. This went on for the most part of Friday evening.

The following day each committee began working on their resolution to the topic they were given. This involved identifying all of the problems related to their title and working through them one by one, finding feasible solutions to each minor problem. We all worked on getting a resolution that everyone agreed to and that was airtight, with as few loopholes as possible in order for it to be ‘passed’ in the general assembly. Once every committee had completed their resolution, the disco began; it lasted for an hour and a half and it was great fun. Everyone was dancing and having the great time that the EYP provides. After a long day we went to bed quickly and we were ready for what was in store for the last day.

Defence and attack

The General Assembly took place on Sunday and this was where every committee got a chance to discuss their resolution. A member of the committee read out the resolutions and was followed by another member of their group, who made a speech to defend the resolution and their thinking behind each of their solutions. After the defence speech, anyone from another committee could make an attack speech if they felt there were a number of key flaws in the resolution of the proposing committee.

After the attack speech, the floor was opened to debate and the proposing group was faced with questions from the other committees, be they problems with the resolution or people seeking clarification on a part of the resolution. The proposing committee subsequently got a chance to reply and answer the questions. After three rounds of open debate, the defending committee gave a summation speech, or in one case, the summation rap (by the Employment Committee), which finished with “Whether you work in McDonalds or you’re a CEO, our resolution is the way to go.”

After the summation speech, a vote was held to see if the resolution would be passed, but unfortunately very few were. The EYP is a great thing and I would urge everyone who has an interest in politics and would like to gain a better understanding of the EU to try and take part. On behalf of all the Clongowes participants we would like to say thank you to the organisers of the EYP regional session and to the Marist College and the Shamrock Lodge Hotel in the lovely town of Athlone.

Lorcáin O’Shea

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