Published on Tuesday21stMarch2017

Taoiseach marks national Blue Star Programme launch

20170321 Blue Star

Taoiseach Enda Kenny is pictured with pupils from St. Vincent’s Girls National School, North William Street, Dublin 

Taoiseach Enda Kenny welcomed pupils from St. Vincent’s Girls National School, Dublin, to Government Buildings this morning to mark the official national launch of the Blue Star Programme for the school year 2016/17.

The objective of the Blue Star Programme, now in its sixth year, is to foster better understanding and knowledge among Irish primary pupils of how the European Union affects our lives. This year, the Programme, which is managed by European Movement Ireland, has more than 165 schools from all 26 counties registered, with over 12,500 participating pupils. Classroom projects and activities have already begun in earnest across the country.

Referring to the approaching 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome which laid the foundations of the EU, An Taoiseach said:

Since 1957, the people of Europe have emphatically answered the call of the six founding members to pool resources and ‘to preserve and strengthen peace and liberty’. Today the EU has advanced from a community of six nations into a Union of 500 million citizens, and while challenges remain, it has led to unprecedented co-operation on matters of trade and politics and an unparalleled period of peace in Europe.

Minister Dara Murphy added:

I am delighted to be here at the National launch of the Blue Star Programme, coming as it does just days before we mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. Blue Star is an exciting programme that allows pupils to learn about our rich European heritage and the importance of the EU today. It's fantastic to see the hard work and effort put in to all the projects by the children and their teachers and I know this is mirrored in over 165 schools taking part this year.