US Special Envoy Joe Kennedy III visited St. Mary’s Primary School in Fivemiletown, following an invitation extended by Chair of the Board of Governors, Mairaid Kelly.

This visit took place during his recent tour of Northern Ireland.

Ms. Kelly had earlier endeavoured to meet Mr. Kennedy in Boston, part of her Ulster University Leadership Programme, successfully securing the Envoy's commitment to meet the school community.

The highly-anticipated engagement fulfilled by Mr. Kennedy highlights his interest in understanding more about the grassroots education movements in Northern Ireland.

Speaking after the visit, Mairaid Kelly, chair of the Board of Governors, said: "Having the chance to meet the President’s Special Envoy Joe Kennedy III in his hometown was an honour and a privilege, and I wanted to return the famous Irish welcome and extend an invitation to mine.

"It was so important to me that the children in our school felt valued and recognised for everything they have achieved this year, and I hope this visit has inspired them to continue to try to change the world in the future. Mr Kennedy was incredible with them, he really engaged with every child, talking to them about their campaigning efforts and encouraging them to continue working to change the world in the future.

"As well as asking the questions only children can about his dog’s name and what kind of car he drove at home, they talked to him about the importance of saving the planet and doing their best to inspire others to follow their example.

"Sharing this historic moment for our school with family, friends and neighbours made it so special, and a day I hope people will remember for a long time to come. The fact that he took time for autographs and photographs with every single child and family was so generous, and we really hope he enjoyed his first visit to Fivemiletown.

"None of this would have been possible without the incredible opportunity provided to me through the Ulster University Leadership Programme and I hope this is part of my contribution to building the kind of legacy they envisaged by passing on my passion for social action to the next generation."