Tiernan addresses Comber Rotary Club

Tiernan addresses Comber Rotary Club

12 September 2018

DOWN High School student Tiernan Laird addressed a recent meeting of Comber Rotary Club when he outlined the work he has been doing over the part year.

Seventeen year-old Tiernan — who completes his A-Levels next year and was joined by his parents on the night — began his association with the Comber club when he applied to participate in this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership competition.

Following an interview by members of the club, Tiernan was selected as their representative at the regional finals and was one of 24 young people selected to represent Ireland at Euroscola (Youth Parliament) at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to debate a variety of motions with 1,200 other students from across Europe. 

Prior to the departure for Strasbourg, the Irish group travelled to Belfast and Dublin to meet with local political, business and charity leaders to learn about government and culture on both sides of the border. They also visited the European Parliament’s offices.

The Irish group was split into smaller teams and each was given a topic to explore and present to the parliament.

Tiernan’s team worked on a computer programme to bring more young people across Europe into the world of work experience and outlined to Comber rotarians the long hours that were required to achieve their end result.

It was then off to Strasbourg and once at the EU parliament the team showed great enthusiasm in their questioning and debating. Tiernan advised that at one stage of the proceedings, they were requested to let some of the other teams have an opportunity to speak. 

But not to be outdone, Tiernan revealed the Irish team spoke in French and German and managed to get a few more questions in before the debate finished. The event was a huge success and following all the presentations, Tiernan’s team were voted outright winners.

On his return home and still filled with enthusiasm, he applied to Comber Rotary to be considered as a participant in the Rotary International Youth Exchange in Germany.  

Again, following the interview stage, the Down High student was selected and represented Comber Rotary where he made many new friends and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Club president Paul Molyneau, thanked Tiernan for addressing members and sharing his adventures with them. He also offered him his best wishes for his final year at school and for the future.

Down High’s deputy principal, Ken Dawson, who joined Tiernan on his visit to Comber, spoke highly of the student. He said Tiernan was passionate in everything he undertook and would do well in whatever his future held.