Tuesday 25 June 2019

Gorey students have their say on upcoming elections

Sixth year students at Gorey Community School who are preparing for their Politics and Society Leaving Cert exam
Sixth year students at Gorey Community School who are preparing for their Politics and Society Leaving Cert exam

Leaving Certificate Politics and Society Students at Gorey Community School say that local election candidates need to use social media more to their advantage and also set reachable realistic targets for their five year terms.

The popular subject is only in its second year as an exam subject for Leaving Certificate, but already students say that they feel the subject has better prepared them for life after secondary school, being eighteen year olds who can now cast their votes in the upcoming local elections, European elections and divorce referendum once registered.

'It's important for young people to know what and who they are going to vote for in the future. Everybody in power has influence and it's important for us to have a say on issues, young people should register to vote,' said student Megan Lanigan.

The students see the biggest issues for Gorey as lack of available school places, drug use, mental health services, lack of safe recreational areas that are friendly towards people with autism, the future of the Market House and Town Park, as well as having politicians care about green policies,

Students said that they often get their political information from social media, but some candidates in Gorey are not using social media to their advantage.

Jade Byrne, who lives in Gorey said that when candidates come knocking on her door, she always takes the time to ask them questions personally.

'There's not a lot of information on there on the candidates on social media,' said Jade.

The group said that they sometimes feel local political happenings do not reflect the issues important to young people.

'It seems like all the local politicians say the same thing about fixing roads and changing everything. They set the bar too high and they need to put into practise that they say they will do, they need to be realists,' the group agreed.

The class worked on a group project as part of this subject, and chose the topic of lowering the voting age to 16.

'Subjects like these get more young people involved, but also social media, we see all the news stories and referenda, people are really getting their opinions out there, and they're learning more and more,' said student Elisa Pandolfi.

'I chose politics and society because I'm interested in international politics and how we as a society operate, how our laws are made, I thought it was fascinating,' said student Karl Warren.

The students said that Brexit has made them more aware about the importance of the European Union.

'We need to be considerate of who we elect to the European Parliament, as the European Parliament gets more powerful,' said Karl Warren.

'The EU was something that we took for granted for a long time, but with Brexit we are realising that the EU is a great thing for countries like Ireland,' said student Caoimhe McGuire.

The class will sit their Leaving Certificate examinations next month.

Gorey Guardian