Left to right: Mr P O’Dwyer (teacher), Shane Burke (winner of 17 and over), Ross Anderson (winner of 16 and under) & Mr Sheehan (Principal) – Dungarvan CBS.
Contestants battled it out in the annual Europe Direct Waterford Soapbox regional heat, each speaking for three minutes on this years’ timely topic “Lies, damned lies and statistics – establishing the truth is impossible in today’s world of misinformation, disinformation and propaganda”. A three strong judging panel had the difficult task of selecting the two winners Ross Anderson from Dungarvan CBS in the 16 & under category and Shane Burke also from Dungarvan CBS in the 17 & over category.
Both finalists will represent Europe Direct Waterford in the National Soapbox final, taking place on the 9th of December. Our regional winners will each receive an iPad and then be in with a chance of winning the overall prize of €1000.
Organiser Breda O’Shea from Europe Direct Waterford said: “the standard was very high this year with all contestants submitting their video entries online, both were very worthy winners. We wish Ross and Shane all the best as they progress to represent us in the National final next month. Congratulations too to Rachel Harries from St. Leo’s College, Carlow and Daniel Fleming who were runners up.”
Head Judge Crista de Brún congratulated the winners, adding: “The Europe Direct Soapbox Competition is a wonderful opportunity to develop oracy skills and participate in a vibrant culture of learning. The research and enthusiasm was evident in the range of responses received and it made the judging a very challenging and enjoyable process. The standard of entries this year was very high, and on behalf of the judging panel I would like to congratulate all entrants on their effort, engagement and initiative”
Other judges were, Sandra Kelly Garter Lane Arts Centre and Jim Lenane, Waterford City & County Council.
Entries from all seven Europe Direct Centres throughout Ireland will be reviewed by a national panel of judges and The National final will be streamed on the Libraries Ireland YouTube channel at 11.30am on Thursday, 9th December 2021. All regional winning entries will be played and the National winner will be announced live on the day.
The National Soapbox competition is run through seven Europe Direct Centres based in public libraries throughout Ireland and is an initiative of the European Commission Representation in Ireland. The Soapbox Final always showcases a unique mix of generations on the topic and reminds us that debate and discussion remain at the heart of European democracy.
Europe Direct Waterford is part of a community of 424 Europe Direct centres around Europe. Their purpose is to reinforce the important connection between the EU institutions and citizens, providing timely and factual information on European matter and events while coordinating with other EU networks in the region to ensure easier local access to information for citizens, organisations and businesses. Europe Direct Waterford is run from Central Library in Waterford City.
The link for the Waterford Regional Winning Videos is: https://youtu.be/LbvqqwdMMOU