Name: Auveen Shannon
School: Mount Lourdes
Family details: Mother, Patricia; father, Eamon; sisters, Ciara and Eimear
Subjects studied: Chemistry, Biology, Spanish and Home Economics
What does being Head Girl mean to you?
It has been a real privilege and has given me a chance to represent a great group of girls both in my year and lower down the school. It has also given me responsibilities which have helped me improve my public speaking and organisational skills.
Your plans after school:
I plan to go to either Cardiff University or UCD to study medicine.
Your career aspirations:
I would love to eventually become a doctor, and hopefully specialise in either paediatric or geriatric medicine.
Will you consider emigrating; if so, where?
I don’t think I’d consider emigrating long term as I want to come back to live in Fermanagh when I’m older. However, when I’m qualified I’d love to spend a year or two working abroad either in Africa or South America.
Please outline any extra responsibilities you have within school:
Organising the seventh year formal, being a member of the student council, helping organise fundraising events as part of the fundraising committee and delivering speeches at public events such as prize night and open night.
What are your hobbies and interests outside school?
I love playing sport. I am a member of my school netball team and I play gaelic football for my club, Lisnaskea Emmetts and for my school. I enjoy volunteering and last summer I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to become a leader at Michaela Camp and at Clogher don Óige’s ‘Assume’ summer camp. I also travelled to Lourdes with Clogher don Óige to work with assisted pilgrims.
What person (known to you or not, alive or dead) do you most admire and why?
My great uncle, Father Brendan Shannon. Since becoming a priest at a young age, he has spent his life helping others. For years he worked in rehabilitation centres for drug addicts and alcoholics in America. In addition to this, he worked on the missions in Zambia and Uganda, helping the poor and disadvantaged gain an education. He is now 84 years old and is currently in Uganda, having recently helped with the installation of water pipes to two small villages, bringing water to several thousand people. Despite everything, he’s never lost his quick wit or sense of humour, and can even find it in himself to put his past as a Newtownbutler footballer behind him, and come and support Lisnaskea when my sisters and I are playing!
What are your views on:
- Integrated education: I think integrated education is a great method of education as it allows communities to come together which may otherwise have never mixed until third level education. This year I experienced this in some sense as students from ERGS and Erne Integrated came to our school for Spanish class as part of Fermanagh Learning community and I have really enjoyed getting to know girls that I may never have met without shared education.
- Brexit: I’m quite concerned about what Brexit will mean for the future as there are so many uncertainties. I don’t think that people knew enough about the consequences before voting, and I think both Leave and Remain campaigns lacked honesty when speaking about the long term consequences. I also think that it could bring about many issues for Northern Ireland, and the potential of the return of a hard border would be very problematic for people in Fermanagh.
- Same sex marriage: I’m in favour of same sex marriage as I believe marriage is the right of every person regardless of sexual orientation. The Republic of Ireland has set an example and I hope that soon the North will follow in their footsteps and vote progressively on the issue.
- Northern Ireland’s politicians: As a young person voting, it is frustrating that too many of Northern Ireland’s politicians are so set in their ways. Many are unwilling to cooperate with each other to achieve real progress on issues such as education and healthcare.
We need to move on from the sectarian politics of the past and politicians need to begin to work together and focus on more important and more relevant issues in order to start making a change.