A student’s thoughts: Meeting a politician

Student Amber Synnott with Micheál Martin

by Amber Synnott

Meeting a politician isn’t the most enthralling idea for someone with no interest in politics, so it’s safe to say I wasn’t too bothered about meeting Micheál Martin, the leader of Fianna Fáil. Yet, it actually wasn’t half as bad as I first expected.

At first greeting, Micheál Martin was friendly, shaking my hand and asking for my name — I assume that’s what they always do. But still, the leader of Fianna Fáil now knew my name and it made me feel a bit important for at least half a second.

I wasn’t interviewing him, just sitting in, so I didn’t expect to feel intimidated. Yet when we entered the room — a small conference area in the Glendalough Hotel — I immediately felt nervous. l’m still a bit unsure as to why, maybe it was the fact I was sitting at the same table as the leader of Fianna Fáil. Or maybe it was the suit; suits can be quite intimidating to me, as they say “I mean business”.

The interview started, and I tried to act professional, so I went between looking at Micheál when he spoke, to watching his answers being taken down on a sheet of paper.

Big issues in Wicklow were being discussed, so I did listen closely to what Micheál was saying, how he answered the questions and what answers he had to give.

Micheál seemed really relaxed in his position, which I understand since half his job is answering the public’s questions, and he’s probably more than used to it by now.

After a few minutes I started to relax, and once I did start to feel a bit more comfortable, the interview flew by.

At the end, we got some pictures and it was mentioned to Micheál that I’m a part of Wicklownews.net for work experience. He asked me a small bit about Transition Year and what school I attend and if I like it there. It was nice to have someone with such responsibility to take interest in me.

He assumed I was young, but didn’t want to say anything because he said “I looked professional”. That was a big accomplishment for me, since my attempt at acting the part seemed to have paid off somewhat.

Overall, meeting a politician was scary at first, but once I relaxed it was an interesting experience.

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