1961-2011     Fifty years ‘with wisdom and courage’

Mock Elections

In the weeks leading up to the recent General Election many of our students displayed a keen interest in matters political. Two teachers; Miss Kenneally and Mr Flood joined forces to –in effect- teach the whole school how the election process actually works. With two groups of students, in First and Fourth Year, they organised an election within the school. Regina Mundi College became a microcosm of the Cork South Central Constituency; the politicians standing in this area were invited to address the assembled student body for a couple of minutes; posters were put up in advance of this meeting. On the day in question most of the candidates showed up and took the assignment very seriously; their respect for this young, but potential, electorate was noteworthy. They spoke about their policies and took questions from the audience. Some remained behind to chat to students about all aspects of the campaign. The following day polling booths were set up at a number of locations in the school; all students and staff were encouraged to vote. A remarkable facsimile of the ballot paper, complete with photos was available and issued with appropriate security to all voters. When the poll closed the boxes were stored overnight until the count began the following day. Our school library became the count centre, complete with tally girls, returning officer and the ongoing counts were digitally displayed on our big screen. It was amazingly like the real thing. Paula Desmond (Labour) topped the poll; Micheál Martin (Fianna Fail), Jerry Buttimer (Fine Gael), Ciaran Lynch (Labour) and David McCarthy (Ind) were also elected, some without reaching the quota. This was a marvellous, truly educational project; it was learning by doing, by being there, listening to the speeches, seeing the results as they emerged. Great credit to all involved.