Well done to 6th Year Gracie Loftus, who travelled to the European Parliament in Brussels during Easter break. This exciting trip came about as a result of a competition entered while in TY, in which Gracie competed in a weekly quiz run by Graduate.ie – a government, local government and EU funded citizenship and democracy programme for young people. The programme aims to engage, inform & inspire young people to learn about important issues. The trip was sponsored by Midland Regional Drug and Alcohol taskforce.

Gracie enjoyed a packed agenda during the week with meetings on Ukraine, youth issues and mental health at the top of the agenda. During these meetings Gracie had the opportunity to share her thoughts and engage in debate, all in the company of European Parliament President Roberta Mesola, MEP’s Maria Walsh, Seán Kelly, Deirdre Clune and Vladimir Bileik.

Gracie was warmly welcomed by Irish MEPs Seán Kelly and Maria Walsh. She enjoyed great discussions with both about the importance of sport and extra-curricular activities for the wellbeing of young people today. Gracie herself is a keen sports advocate and prior to lockdown captained St Brigid’s to a League and Championship U-16 double and this year was part of the school’s Senior hockey team that won the Connacht Final and the Halliday Cup. While in 5th year Gracie was also the brains behind OLB’s hugely successful “Fitness for Focus” initiative, which saw the school community come together while apart during lockdown to fundraise for Focus Ireland.


Away from meetings Gracie also had the opportunity to see and experience the beautiful city of Brussels.

Gracie was delighted to be afforded the opportunity to participate in this trip and would like to thank all involved for such a wonderful experience.