Wednesday, May 20, 2015

FOUR students from Presentation de la Salle College in Bagenalstown won a national debating competition, despite the fact that it was the first time the school had entered it.

Transition year students Beatrice Kelly, Brianna Walsh, Caoimhe Cummins and Saoirse Power beat 134 other schools to take home the prestigious Concern Debates title.

“The girls blew everyone out of the water with their energy, their facts and figures, their style,” said delighted school principal Gerry Watchorn. “They were winners all around.”

The atmosphere at the final in The Helix, Dublin was intense last Thursday when the four young women proposed the motion that The EU is failing Africa against the other finalists, St Flannan’s College from Ennis, County Clare.

“It was an intense, exciting atmosphere to be in The Helix with 400 supporters from each side. It was like a cauldron!” Mr Watchorn continued. “These girls are self-starters and are wonderful advocates for young people anywhere, but especially for our school.”

The Presentation De La Salle Bagenalstown debating team: Saoirse Power, Caoimhe Cummins, Brianna Walsh and Beatrice Kelly Photo: Hazel Coonagh

The Presentation De La Salle Bagenalstown debating team: Saoirse Power, Caoimhe Cummins, Brianna Walsh and Beatrice Kelly
Photo: Hazel Coonagh

The team was accompanied by mentors and coaches, teachers Ita Doyle and Leon Power, who joined in the jubilations when the exciting result was announced. They can now look forward to travelling to Mozambique in July to see for themselves the work that Concern does on the ground.

In the meantime, though, teachers and students alike were overjoyed with the team’s success. “There aren’t many principals and schools as happy as we are this week. This is a huge achievement and we’re very proud of them,” Mr Watchorn concluded.

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By Elizabeth Lee
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