Kilkenny College’s senior debating team has won the war of words at the 2019 All-Ireland final of the Gael Linn debating competition, Comórtas an Phiarsaigh.
Students Molly Parmeter, Iseult Ní Chathail and Rachel Ní Chaomhánaigh were yesterday declared winners over teams from St Gerald’s College, Castlebar, Laurel Hill Secondary School, Limerick and Eureka Secondary School, Kells.
The event took place in the Lucan Spa Hotel, and was the culmination of this year’s competition, organised annually by Gael Linn, and funded by Foras na Gaeilge, for second-level schools nationwide, in which over 150 schools have taken part since October last.
The high standard of debating on the night posed a considerable challenge to the five adjudicators, Seán Mac Labhraí, Máirín Uí Mhuirí, Áine Máire Ní Ghioballáin, Fergus Ó Conghaile and Antóin Delap, in their task of selecting the winners.
The motion up for debate was particularly appropriate for the age group — ‘Ba cheart an aois vótála in Éirinn a ísliú ó 18 go 16 (The voting age in Ireland should be reduced from 18 to 16).
Kilkenny College Senior Girls 7's Squad emerged victorious from the Leinster 7's Tournament held in the Energia Stadium, Donnybrook. The tournament got under way with a series of matches in a pool of 4 teams. Kilkenny College was set against Sacred Heart Tullamore. The squad began with Melanie Griffith as scrum half, Alex MacNeill, Lilly Onilenla, Grace Jackson, Sadie Hyland, Abby Bennett and Lynda Watchorn. With a 5-point lead at half time, substitutions were made; Robyn Hutchinson, Ciara Orr, Doireann Doyle, Maria Cairns, Wren Higgins, Holly Talbot and Mary Adewuyi. By full time the team had claimed the win and were well and truly set into the tournament. The next match was against Temple Carraig Secondary School. The squad, following the same team tactics, led by coaches Ms. Sue Shirley and Mr. Jeff Carter, once again climbed up the table with a final score of 20-10. The last team to beat in the pool was Eureka Secondary School and after a tough 14-minute game Kilkenny College were into the semi-finals.
The team fought hard against Dundalk coming to an even score at half time. However, with a series of trys from winger Lily Onilenla and scrum half Melanie Griffith the team won 20-10 and made it into the final.
Kilkenny College faced Eureka Secondary School once again. The final began with a try from Kilkenny College however Eureka made a quick come back before half time levelling the score. However, thanks to the determination of the team two more trys had them back in the lead. The team managed to keep a defensive line until the final whistle with a final score of 15-5. Kilkenny College had won the Cup and are now Leinster 7's Cup Champions.
Try Scorers: Melanie Griffith Mary Adewuyi Grace Jackson Lily Onilenla Wren Higgins Abby Bailey Alex McNeill Holly Talbot.
Comórtas diospóireachta an Phiarsaigh
The Seismology in Schools programme , begun in 2007 as an educational Outreach Initiative run by the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies.
More than seventy schools, colleges, universities and geoparks throughout Ireland participate in the seismic programme of monitoring strong earthquake activity from around the world. Recently Kilkenny College joined this programme and currently the seismometer is fully operational in the college. The seismometer will record and display large earthquake events from the other side of the world which the students will be able to see in real time.
The student enterprise awards were a wonderful success for Kilkenny College this year. All of the students entered the competition worked extremely hard to show off their business skills this year, by forming a mini-company to create a product which they can then sell. The students, had to write up a company report outlining all the market research, accounts and information about the product. Every team that took part did an exceptional job of presenting their product. There was an extremely wide variety of products on display which really showed off the students creativity. From, Brownie mix to Tree Ring Coasters there was quite an array of products on display by our young entrepreneurs.
Each student showed off his/her skills in marketing, production, design and use of technology to further their products. Each team had assembled a marketing campaign to get their product out there to potential customers, they also outlined the future plans for their companies and they were pretty exciting.
In the end, Liam Foot and Tom Donald won the 1st place prize in the Senior Category along with the prize for the Most Innovative product. Michael Cunningham came 3rd in the Senior Category of the competition.
All of the students who took part in the competition represented themselves and Kilkenny College to the highest standards and did an outstanding job on the day. The students have really achieved above and beyond what was expected from them. Kilkenny College had the most winners In the main category out of every other school. Liam and Tom are now going to represent Kilkenny in Croke park in Dublin.
This success wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Ms Atkinson and Mr Ashmore in coordinating and supporting the young entrepreneurs in their Economics and Business Studies classes.
In conclusion the amount of time and effort that went into not only assembling the product but marketing, design, manufacturing etc has been absolutely incredible. Each and every student that took part should be extremely proud of what they managed to do. I can safely say after seeing all of these amazing products I can now confirm that the future is in safe hands.
Well done to everyone who took part in the competition.