This Wednesday was the farewell meal for our Dublin Parliamentary Interns and I had the opportunity to chat with students about their experience.
The Dublin Parliamentary Internship stands out as a truly fantastic and unique programme. Students split their time between classes in the Institute of Public Administration – where Ireland’s civil servants and political advisers train, and the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament). The Irish Parliament consists of two houses, the Dáil (upper house) and a second lower house the Seanad (Senate), students work as interns for both TDs (Deputies) in the Dáil and Senators.
The Spring Interns came at a practically interesting time; a general election was called shortly after they arrived, meaning the Dáil (upper house) was suspended for 3 weeks for intense political campaigning. The Irish people went to the polls almost 40 days ago and a government has still not been formed. The political agenda has since been dominated by negotiations between various political parties and independent ministers, while the country is run by a caretaker government.
The Seanad elections are held within 6 weeks of the Dáil election and will take place shortly on the 25th of April. Both our spring students working as interns for TD’s and Senators have had a great insight into the Irish election process, the close-net community campaigning and the aftermath of the result. Having completed a parliamentary internship with a Senator myself in college, I can appreciate the excitement and face-paced learning that takes place working inside the Government.
Good luck and farewell to all our Dublin Parliaments Interns!