Commencing their election campaigns with a visit to Leinster House in recent times, the children of fifth and sixth classes in Ardnagrath National School afforded the two weeks researching and creating their election manifestos prior to hosting their own polling day on Thursday last.
Eight candidates, representing all political parties, included school, local and even national issues as part of their campaigns. Climate action, health and fitness and the homeless crisis are clearly important issues to these budding politicians, with many of the candidates speaking eloquently during the canditates debate.
Polling was taken very seriously with each pupil and staff member casting their votes in front of the presiding officers. Those staff members attempting to vote twice were promptly spotted and turned away!
Friday morning came with much anticipation as the ballot boxes were opened under the watchful eye of the two returning officers. Early tallies showed the Sinn Féin candidate, Lara Ellen, in the lead, not surprising due to their strong canvassing during the week before. The count was off to an exciting start.
At 1.25pm the returning officers declared Independent candidate, Hannah, elected to the joy of the campaign teams and supporters. The nail biting task of transferring her excess votes began, leading to the returning officers declaring Fine Gael candidate, DJ, and Sinn Féin candidate, Lara Ellen elected on the fourth count. The three seats in the constituency of Ardnagrath NS had been filled.
As the dust settles across the country after General Election 2020, many may have mixed feelings about the result of our country’s newly election politicians to Dáil Eireann, but fear not.
In less than ten years time, rest assured that these former pupils of Ardnagrath National School will provide more promising options for future government officials.