The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

PBPL 85: Global Policy Leadership Participant Kevin Schorr '15

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This post is part of a series on the Global Policy Leadership Practicum through PBPL 85. Students reflect on their experiences as part the travel abroad portion of the course to Northern Ireland during the winter break.



PBPL 85 students with former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.

The stakes were raised once again for the team today as we prepared to meet with the former Taoiseach, or Prime Minister for those of you not yet versed in Gaelic, of the Irish Free State/Republic, Bertie Ahern.





The meeting naturally took place at a valued site of Irish heritage, the Jameson distillery. No drinks were had, but many a pastry devoured by those in attendance as Bertie gave us a first-hand account of his experiences in the Good Friday peace talks, as well as a few choice words about resident British correspondent Nick’s favorite Iron-Lady politician, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.




Nick Zehner and Bertie Ahern

Immediately after, we traveled to the Clinton Institute at University College Dublin to meet with Director Liam Kennedy who tested not only our knowledge of policy but of Irish geography and Bill Clinton.  Kennedy also provided a useful personal account of the post-Troubles state of Northern Ireland which unfortunately remains socially troubling even without the constant threat of violence.

We then returned to the city for a themed tour of Dublin based on the 1916 Easter Rising. The charismatic tour guide started with a bang much like the Easter Rising itself and did not let up. He carried the spirit of Irish rebellion in his veins, among a few other things, and gave a rapid fire account of the incident as he led us throughout the city. Not all was fun and games for the group today as we experienced our own bit of sacrifice for the republican cause. At the site of the Irish Republican Brotherhood’s base of operations during the revolt, also known as the Dublin Post Office, one of the group’s members was left behind in the frenetic pace of the tour. You will not be forgotten Sasha and the stamps you purchased while the group carried on will not have been bought in vain.  We proceeded to the Garden of Remembrance for those who fell in the pursuit of Irish freedom where we promptly remembered who was lost from our group and paid our respects.  Miraculously, the group reunited at the end of the day.






-Written by Kevin Schorr ’15, Global Policy Leadership Practicum Fall Term 2014 Participant

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences