Before Christmas the Irish Examiner began a scheme whereby schools from around the country, working with the newspaper, would write pieces for the paper on the theme of young people and politics. Douglas Community School was delighted to secure one of the eight places available on this scheme. The pieces were to be published in a special stand-alone supplement around Easter, and the Transition Year students who volunteered began work on their particular area (“Why Young People Don’t Vote”) in January.
However, events soon overtook us, with the collapse of the thirtieth Dáil, and the setting of 25 February as the date for GE11. Thus the Irish Examiner decided to run material from the schools involved on different days as the General Election approached. On Monday 21 February, in the Election 2011 supplement, the paper gave over a full two-page spread to articles by the Douglas Community School students. The pieces published reflected the very high level of engagement of the students with the political system, and their well-developed critical faculties. Throughout the researching and writing process, the students involved showed an interest, enthusiasm and dedication to getting things right, no matter how many redraftings were deemed necessary!
The published articles are online on the Irish Examiner website:
http://www.irishexaminer.com/election/supplement/vacuum-fails-to-suck-in-young-voters-145885.html . This amalgamates the survey by Kevin O’Leary, Gavin Crean and Andrew O’Keeffe, and the interviews conducted with local candidates by Shane O’Sullivan and Kieran Sheehan.
http://www.irishexaminer.com/election/supplement/generation-next-has-more-power-than-it-realises-145886.html . This piece is by Kieran Sheehan.
(L-R): Daniel Leahy, Kieran Sheehan, Andrew O’Keeffe, Stephen Lyons, Rob O’Reilly, Kevin O’Leary, Gavin Crean, Karl Horgan, Jimmy Bourke, Shane O’Sullivan, Brendan O’Brien, Shahrukh Nawaz.
Alternatively both articles can be viewed by clicking on the following links (.pdf formats).
Here are eight other articles.
Ciarán Ó Conaill