April 25, 2013

The TY class from Desmond College with Patrick O'Donovan TD, on their visit to the Dail where they met with national political figures to present their case for National Cardiac Screening for under 35s.

Transition year students at Desmond College travelled to Dail Eireann on Wednesday 24th of April to highlight their campaign to the government that free cardiac screening should be mandatory for all young people in Ireland.

The students briefed the Ministers, the Health Committee and also had a private meeting with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny on why they would like to see a situation in Ireland, where cardiac screening is the norm for all people under the age of 35.

They also spoke about all the hard work they have done to date to create awareness about this issue and strengthen their campaign. The Taoiseach was very positive and commended the students on all the work that they have done. The students are doing this project as part of Young Social Innovators where their ultimate goal is to have free screening available to all people in Ireland under the age of thirty-five.

This project was motivated by the loss of two young people both of whom were very special and important in the lives of this Transition Year class and Desmond College- Niamh Herlihy and Darra O’Donovan. This is a huge achievement for the school and one which the class are very proud of. It’s not often that you get a private meeting with the Taoiseach of the country!

This was further reinforced on Friday when the students of Desmond College received a personal letter from An Taoiseach congratulating them on their efforts to date and assuring them that he is behind this project 100 percent. It’s comforting to know that students in Desmond College understand the value of protecting young people from heart defects in this country and are willing to work hard to make it happen.

This TY project has successfully reached the Final of the Young Social Innovator Competition being held in Dublin on 8th May. A second TY project called Beat The Blues, aimed at raising awareness of mental health issues, has also got a place in the Final.

Students from Desmond College, with Patrick O'Donovan TD and teacher Ciara Broderick with An Taoiseach Enda Kenny following a private meeting.