Eureka are the National Champions of Public Access to Law 2014

On the 5th April the Eureka Secondary School PAL (Public Access to Law) Team set out for the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin for the annual National Mock Trial Competition.

Over 40 schools from all over Ireland were competing for a place in the All Ireland Finals to be held in the Criminal Courts of Justice the following weekend, April 12th.

The top four teams on the day would secure a place in the National Finals on the 12th April, which would be presided over by three Judges of the District, Circuit and High Court.

The Eureka School Team from Kells, Co. Meath displayed some outstanding advocacy skills winning all of their three cases on the day and finishing in 1st place, thereby securing their place in the National Finals on the 12th April.

An excellent performance by all team members, in particular the Eureka barristers, Emily O’Donovan, Katie Bowser, Mary Carpenter and Catherine Dolan ensured that Eureka came out on top.

The Public Access to Law competition requires Transition Year students to prepare both sides, i.e. prosecution and defence, of two different cases. This year’s competition saw students prosecute and defend a murder case as well as a Section 3 Assault case.

On April 12th the Eureka girls competed against a strong team from Loreto Kilkenny in the semi finals and came out on top to compete in the All-Ireland final against Loreto Balbriggan.

Loreto Balbriggan put up an impressive performance but the Eureka girls proved too strong for them on the day with the Eureka barristers, Catherine Dolan and Mary Carpenter, picking up some vital points on their cross examination of witnesses.

A flawless and powerful closing argument from Eureka’s barrister, Catherine Dolan, garnered some all important scores for the Eureka team and left the Judges in no doubt as to who were the worthy winners.

The witnesses for the Eureka Team, in particular, Michelle Duffy, Jane Rooney, Kate Able, Emma Megan, Sarah Lawless and Aoife McKeever were well prepared and made their opponent’s task all the more difficult with their impressive performances.

In addition to collecting their All-Ireland medals, special recognition on the day was awarded to Eureka students Catherine Dolan and Mary Carpenter who were jointly awarded the highly prestigious Harry Hill Cup for Best Speakers. It was a winning week for the two girls who had only days earlier collected their Under 16 All –Ireland football medals.

The Eureka Team were well prepared by their Team Coaches, Edel Traynor (Solicitor), Elaine Traynor (Solicitor) and Ronan Fahy (Teacher). The team and coaches would also like to thank Anne and Niall Dolan for all of their kind help and assistance in coaching the girls to All-Ireland success. The Eureka girls now have the opportunity to travel to Brooklyn, New York in October to represent Ireland in the Empire World Finals.

Pictured above the wining Eureka team and coaches.