Mairead McGuinness MEP for Donegal and first Vice-President of the European Parliament pictured with transition year students at St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar who are engaged in European studies
Mairead McGuinness, MEP for Donegal and first Vice-President of the European Parliament, has commended St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar, which just last week won the 2019 Model Council of the European Union competition held in Dublin Castle.
And on International Women’s Day the MEP spoke to the senior girls about her journey from college to journalism to politics and the many ups and downs along the way.
She also spoke about the imbalance in female representation in politics at all levels and why she would encourage young women to become active leaders.
“Of course politics is open to all who are willing to serve, whatever the age and I believe that many women who have reared children should also be encouraged to get involved in politics as their life experience is invaluable,” she said.
She encouraged them to become active in their communities and to get involved now in whatever their chosen career path might be.
“Politics is a tough business, it is demanding on people and on time but it can be hugely rewarding,” she said.
“Sometimes it’s the small issues that as a politician I can assist with, and that can make a huge difference to individuals.
“Equally, when shaping legislation and pushing for reform, politicians make a difference to the wider public good.”
She said she would like to see more women getting involved in politics and would encourage students to consider it, if not immediately then perhaps at some stage later in their lives.
“But it’s also possible to get involved in research and advisory positions, standing for election is not for everyone.
“Active engagement in your community is also important, including volunteering,” she said.
The MEP thanked co-ordinator, Catherine Cooke for inviting her to meet the transition year students and thanked Brian McCrea for inviting her to speak with the senior girls.
She also expressed her gratitude to Principal, Tom Rowan, for the warm welcome.