Multiple schools from Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Carlow took part in this year’s Europe Direct Soapbox challenge in the impressive surroundings of the Large Room in City Hall, Waterford City. Young and older had the opportunity to have their voices heard, with categories age16 and under and age 17 and over. Every year this is such a worthy and exciting speaking competition. This year the standard was particularly high with contestants battling it out with the topic:
“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter” – Barack Obama.
In today’s turbulent times, it is more important than ever to build a better future by voting in the EU Parliament Elections”
Our three strong judging panel consisted of Mr Gerard Arthurs, Lecturer in International Relations & Politics SETU, Dr. Jennifer Kavanagh Law Lecturer SETU and President of the Political Studies Assoc. of Ireland and Mr Jim Lenane WCCC.
Lucy O’Connell, Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny won the 16 and under category with Caoilan Walsh, De La Salle College, Waterford winning the 17+ category.
Aoife Fitzgerald, Waterpark College and Leticia Tamen, St. Angela’s Ursuline Waterford were runners up in the 16 and under category, with highly commended mentions going to Eoghan Lynch CBS Wexford and Sarah O’Grady Waterpark College.
Runners up in the 17+ category were Fiach O’Byrne, CBS Wexford and Lelia Mahon, Loreto Kilkenny with highly commended mentions going to Medha Trehan Loreto Kilkenny and Ger Rogers independent entry.
Both of the winning contestants were presented with i-Pads and went on to represent Europe Direct, South-East in the National Final in the Royal College of Physicians on Monday 27 November. Once again, the standard was incredibly high. The regional winners put forward very strong articulate arguments and had a most enjoyable experience at the national final.
Well done to everyone who took part in both the Regional and National competitions!
Prizes for the Regional and National competitions were sponsored by the European Commission Representation in Ireland. Regional runner up prizes were funded by Europe Direct Waterford.
Thank you to everyone who took part, to parents and teachers for encouraging young people and to their enthusiastic supporters on the day. This very popular event is growing by the year so don’t miss the opportunity to take part next year. Date to be announced in August/September 2024.
Photos by DGM Photography
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