On Friday staff and students at Schull Community College were delighted to welcome past pupil Holly Cairns TD back to her alma mater. Holly spoke to third, fifth and sixth year students about the importance of voting, during what was her first visit to the Mizen school since becoming a Social Democrat TD in February 2020. She encouraged students to engage with political and social issues and to ‘use your voice to effect positive change,’ stressing how change should come from young people. To drive her point home, Holly was able to draw on her own rather dramatic experience of the value of each individual vote. She described how in the 2019 local elections, her first time standing as a candidate for election, she lost by one vote and then eventually following a recount, went on to win the last seat by a single vote.
The student audience were really engaged by the talk and asked lots of interesting questions about Holly’s school days and her journey into politics. She told them about her time in the college, stressing that a political career was the furthest thing from her mind despite being a member of the SCC Student Council. Holly also recalled a senior cycle careers survey that predicted that she was most suited to as career as a baggage handler! Finally Holly distributed registration forms and urged anyone aged 18 or who will be 18 before 15th February, to register to vote to allow their own voices to be heard on the issues that matter to them.