This day is a wondrous learning day – because of local elections, the Oireachtas is not in session. As a result, we get a longer, more in-depth tour than is customary (although it would have been great for the students to observe the proceedings of the two Houses – Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate).
The students learn that Ireland is a parliamentary democracy, and our excellent guide provides background and information for helping them to understand the role and powers of the President, the Houses, committee work, the role of the Ceann Comhairle and Cathaoirleach, and the broadcast of live proceedings by Radio Telefís Éireann (the national broadcaster) or coverage of parliamentary business by RTÉ.
Leinster House is beautiful – students enjoy the tour and ask great questions about differences between US and Irish political systems, the local elections, the parliamentary process and technology used in the Dáil.
The photos were taken in the waiting area just inside the gates. There was another small group waiting with us, and it was good to be in a warm space out of the rain and the cold.