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Minister Flanagan meets first crop of Transition Year Iveagh Scholars

Minister Flanagan meets first crop of Transition Year Iveagh Scholars

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, today presented certificates of achievement to 30 Transition Year students from all over the country taking part in the inaugural Iveagh Scholars programme.

The first of its kind by any Government department, the programme aims to engage Irish students in international affairs and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s work to promote Ireland’s interests and values around the globe.

As part of the programme, the 30 students are spending a week in the Department where they have the opportunity to see first-hand the work and impact of international diplomacy. Students were selected to take part following a competition in which they wrote an essay or recorded a short video on the theme of “Ireland’s values”.

Speaking at a meeting with the students this morning, the Minister said:

“I am delighted to meet with the next generation of citizens for whom Ireland’s foreign policy is so important and matters to the everyday lives of all.

“My hope is that this programme will offer students a clear understanding of the work my Department does to promote Ireland’s economic prosperity, uphold our values and interests and protect Irish people abroad by providing consular and passport services and supporting emigrant groups.

“I look forward to hearing ideas and feedback from our first crop of Iveagh Scholars following an action-packed week which included an international negotiations role-play, a consular crisis simulation game and visits to foreign Embassies in Dublin. Yesterday, students visited Belfast where they met with the Lord Mayor in City Hall and received a tour of interface areas.

“This programme, which is the first of its kind to be offered by any Government Department, offers students the chance to discuss and share their views on key issues in Ireland’s foreign policy, from human rights to promoting Irish businesses abroad. Not only is it an enriching and beneficial experience for the students, but it creates an invaluable dialogue between my Department and students in a rapidly-changing world.”

ENDS
Press Office
29 April 2015