As part of the visit to Ireland by members of the French Government, Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD accompanied the French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian on a visit to the Lycée Français d’Irlande in Clonskeagh. The event in Clonskeagh marked the unveiling of a new title for the Lycée – Lycée français d'Irlande : Lycée français international Samuel Beckett. During the visit both Ministers engaged with staff, students, members of the Board of the Lycée, and representatives of the French community in Ireland.
As part of the visit, both Ministers spoke to guests about the deep and enduring ties between Ireland and France in the areas of education and culture, including the long-established exchange programmes and research collaborations. Ministers Madigan and Le Drian also acknowledged the Government Joint Plan of Action, and the sharing of best practice and curriculum in the area of special education between both countries.
During the visit, Ministers Madigan and Le Drian met with students in a socially distanced manner to discuss issues including the promotion of citizenship, sustainable development, science and sport. These students included recent winners of both the Childrens’ Parliament and the Namazu world school competition with projects on sustainable food and science respectively. Students who participated in the School Football World Cup in February 2020 also took part.
Minister Josepha Madigan said:
“I was delighted to meet with Minister Le Drian today on behalf of the Department of Education and to accompany him to the newly renamed Lycée français d'Irlande : Lycée français international Samuel Beckett in Clonskeagh. The Lycée has a proud history as part of the community in Clonskeagh since 1970 catering to French students, Irish students, and students from all over the world. It was wonderful for Minister Le Drian to meet members of the school community here today and mark the official renaming of the Lycée.
“Ireland and France have many close ties, particularly in the area of education and culture. Indeed it is fitting that the title of the Lycée will now include the name of an illustrious Irish writer who was also closely connected to France. These ties will continue to deepen as our two countries work together ever more closely at European level and in the wider world. As Minister with responsibility for special education and inclusion, I am looking forward to increasing the sharing of best practice and curriculum in the area of special education between Ireland and France.
“Minister Le Drian and I spoke with some of the students here today about some very important topics including global citizenship and sustainable development, key themes on which it is vital to hear the views of young people. We both understand the value of education for broadening minds and creating opportunities, and we are both committed to ensuring that our education systems remain inclusive and empowering places.
“C’était un vrai plaisir d’accueillir Ministre Le Drian à Clonskeagh aujourd’hui.”