ELECTION 2016
Students Takeover UNICEF Ireland’s Twitter Account
Feb. 26, 2016
BY VIVIENNE PARRY
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Dublin, 2nd February 2016

UNICEF pioneers innovative engagement between young people and political. Scores of children across Ireland staged the first Twitter Takeover of UNICEF Ireland’s Twitter feed @unicefireland, on Thursday, 4th February. Young people across Ireland looked for answers from political leaders ahead of the General Election to key questions affecting Irish youth such as, climate change, inequality, education and health.

Students in schools across a number of constituencies used UNICEFs Twitter Takeover to quiz both Government and opposition leaders based on issues raised in an election manifesto; created by children for children. They grilled ministers and party leaders on their policy differences and resource allocation. The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. James Reilly TD faced the spotlight first, followed by the leader of the Green Party, Eamon Ryan and People Before Profit party leader, Richard Boyd Barrett TD. Equality Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD and the Fianna Fáil Party leader, Micheál Martin TD took questions on young people’s priorities for the country’s future.

The initiative was aimed at ensuring children’s views were heard and that young people take part in political discussions during the General Election. Instead of organisations speaking on behalf of children, the initiative ensured children’s voices were heard loud and clear. UNICEF believes using the Twitter platform provides an ideal opportunity for young people to engage with their political leaders in a transparent way. Young millennials need politicians to engage with them on the open and accessible platforms of their generation.

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