HFE 2015

Press Release: Blue Star Programme pupils lead Handshake for Europe 2015

The Blue Star Programme pupils of Gardiner St National School shake hands for Europe! 

Dublin, 09 June 2015: Minister of State for European Affairs and Data Protection, Dara Murphy TD joined students from Gardiner Street National School to celebrate the pan-European ‘Handshake for Europe’ on 9 May at the Mansion House in Dublin.

The objective of the Blue Star Programme, now in its fourth year, is to foster better understanding and knowledge among Irish primary pupils, of how the European Union affects our lives.  To date, the Programme, which is managed by European Movement Ireland, has already involved over 200 schools and 15,000 school children across Ireland.

The event at the Mansion House marked an opportunity for Irish schoolchildren to experience a truly European event, one which was being repeated in countries all around Europe.

Also taking part in the event was Lord Mayor of Dublin, Christy Burke. The pupils conversed with the Lord Mayor and the Minister on their knowledge of European culture and language, before joining hands for the symbolic gesture of Europe Week.

“Irish schools are really leading the way in creativity and innovation. This year, we have our highest number of participating Blue Star schools yet, from every county in Ireland. We want to promote a better understanding of all things European among the whole community involved in school life”.

“As Minister for European Affairs, I’m delighted to mark Europe Day in this way with our Blue Star schools,” said Minister Murphy.

The event was covered and broadcast as part of RTE’s News2Day programme.


Available for comment

EM Ireland’s Blue Star Programme manager, Joe Bishop is available for interview and comment.  Contact Frances Byrne at EM Ireland, on 01 662 5815, 086 814 3297 or email frances@europeanmovement.ie

About the Blue Star Programme

The Blue Star Programme is a joint venture of the Communicating Europe Initiative, supported by the Office of the Minister of State for European Affairs in the Department of the Taoiseach, the European Commission Representation in Ireland and the European Parliament Information Office in Ireland. 

The Blue Star Programme aims to introduce participants (pupils, teachers, parents and the wider community) to the EU; what it means and how it works.  The Programme also aims to foster a strong sense of awareness of the EU among its participants that reaches far beyond the school walls and out into the community.  The national co-ordinating body for the programme for the next three years is European Movement Ireland.

About European Movement Ireland

Founded in 1954 and marking its 60th anniversary this year, European Movement Ireland is an independent not-for-profit, membership organisation working to make the connection between Irish people and the European Union.  Through education programmes and advocacy work, European Movement campaigns for every Irish person to get involved with the European Union and, by doing so, help shape it through reasoned, robust and informed debate.   For more information, visit www.europeanmovement.ie.

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