C3 CSPE Action Project to Dáil Éireann

Trip to Dáil Éireann

On Thursday 16th November, Class C3 made a trip to Dáil Éireann as part of our CSPE Action Project which will contribute towards our Junior Cert grade. Beforehand, our class had organised ourselves into five groups, each taking responsibility for a different aspect of our project.

We met up outside the CSPE room at 9:00 am. The bus was coming in 5 minutes so we had to run for it, we made it just in time. The bus took about 30 minutes to arrive at the Dáil. We got off at Dame Street and we walked around College Green.

When we arrived at the Dáil we had to go through security. We had to put our jackets and bags through a scanner. We made our way to the Dáil chamber, to see a debate that had been going on. There weren’t many people debating there. We saw the Ceann Comhairle sitting in the main chair. Each person was given exactly 10 minutes to speak.

After the debate, the tour guide brought us to the gallery. The gallery had portraits of all the past Taoisigh. The tour guide told us about the history of the Dáil and also the Taoisigh. She mentioned how some of the past Taoisigh weren’t on the walls because their portraits weren’t finished yet.

Next we went to the Seanad. There we saw TD Shane Ross speak. He spoke about concerns about rail commuter lines from Shannon Airport to Limerick city. His speech was similar to the debates in the main chamber but this time he didn’t have a time limit. We listened to his speech for a little longer and then we went outside to take a photo. There we met John Lahart (TD of south west Dublin).

After we met Mr Lahart, and took our class photo, we went to the visitor’s bar. There the whole class was offered a drink of choice. Next we would go to the Leaders’ Question time. On our way back to the Chamber we met the Ceann Comhairle, Seán Ó Feargháil.  The Ceann Comhairle is the chairperson of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas of Ireland. The person who holds the position is elected by members of the Dáil from among their number in the first session after each general election.  Mr Ó Feargháil was elected Ceann Comhairle in March 2016. He told us how impressed he was with Coláiste Éanna.

At about 12pm, it was time for Leader’s Questions in which the Minister of Education was answering questions from opposition leaders. We heard TD’s like Brendan Howlin, Niamh Smith, Mattie McGrath, Anne Rabbite, Roisín Shortall, Shane Cassells and Robert Troy. Some of their questions included the effects of Brexit on businesses in Northern Ireland, accusations against the government avoiding problems with working hours and traffic congestion along certain roads in South Kerry from Deputy Healy Rae. The next section in the Dáil was dedicated to TDs following up on promised legislature but we had to leave part-way through it.

We are thankful to everyone involved, who let this trip take place, and especially to John Lahart who gave his time to host us.

Outside Dáil Éireann