A group of Transition year Economics students from Our Lady’s Castleblayney, together with their teacher, Ms Kathryn Clarke travelled to the Four Seasons Hotel in Monaghan on Friday October 19thfor the “Getting Ireland Brexit ready” event. They were indeed very privileged and very excited to be present with so many seasoned business people and Government Ministers.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphries was first to address the crowd and give her advice for preparing for Brexit, outlining all the help available from the Local Enterprise Office, Enterprise Ireland and the Strategic Bank of Ireland.  Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney spoke about the progress to date while Helen Mc Entee, Minister for European Affairs spoke of the tours along the border which she had organized for many of her European counterparts, so that they could acquaint themselves with the border and further enhance their understanding of the situation.

Three workshops on Enterprise, Agri-food and Tourism were available to the students from which to choose two.  They enjoyed the freedom of visiting their workshop of choice and learned a lot from listening to representatives from Bord Bia, BIM, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Failte, the Local Enterprise Office and Inter-trade Ireland.

The students particularly enjoyed the discussion after the workshops when everyone reconvened in the main hall to listen to six local business people recount their experience of dealing with Brexit uncertainty.  Barry Cullen from Silver Hill Foods, Kian Louet-Feisser from Carlingford Oysters, Suzanne Atkinson from Wright Quarry Products, Claire Doogan from McAree Engineering, John O’Neill from Hamlet Court Hotel and Tony Walker from Slieve Russell Hotel.  The main message from all of these speakers was to “start preparing for Brexit”, “appoint one person to deal with these preparations”, “diversify your market” and “focus on producing a quality product”.

The students learned so much from their trip and look forward to applying this information in their study of Economics and to watching with interest how the final Brexit will materialize. A wonderful informative experience for these young people many of whom may be our future leaders in politics or industry

Pictured at ‘Getting Ireland Brexit Ready’ conference in the Four Seasons in Monaghan are students from Our Lady’s Castleblayney in discussion with Ministers Coveney, Humphries and McEntee.