Coláiste Íosagáin Positive Vibes Super Lives

 #Positive Vibes Super Lives

Debating and Public Speaking Competition. December 14th 2018

Lá dár saol…. in Coláiste Íosagain as the school embraced oral literacy and engaged at the highest level of student engagement last Friday in public speaking and debating. This competition was the culmination of months of competitions as the students battled it out to gain a place in the final against the teachers. This initiative, in its second year, is the brainchild of the Wellbeing and Amber committees and the English Department. Ms Holloway, Mr Booth and Ms Nolan had overseen the organisation of the heats and cajoled the teachers and Deputy Principals to put themselves out there and participate in the final instalment of the competition. It was organised to fulfil the project requirement for this year’s application for Ambassador Schools’ Status.

Articulating oneself verbally is just as important as expressing oneself in print. Fast becoming one for the most highly anticipated days in the school calendar, this year provided excitement, engagement and entertainment for all present. The day’s activities showcased and embraced all that is best in Coláiste Íosagain. We celebrated positivity while promoting respect, confidence, empathy, inclusion and tolerance as we listened and thought.

The morning began with the Best Individual Speakers competition in both Junior and Senior categories. All of these students had been identified during the early round as best speakers. The topic for the Juniors, ‘It’s the small things in life that make all the difference’ and the topic for the Seniors, ‘The Christmas presents I would really like to give my teachers’ was hotly contested. The Junior contestants were Tara Hackett, Rebecca Mullally, Sofia Coleman, Laura Tully, Clodagh Molloy, Stephen Connolly, Sobhy Joha, Cassie Rice, Mark Torres, Declan McGee, Karol Wojtkowiak, Orlagh Kiernan and Tamara Murphy Sheerin. After some very entertaining and engaging speeches Laura Tully and Tamara Murphy Sheerin emerged as the joint runners up and Cassie Rice was awarded the best speaker in this category. We warmly congratulate all the participants and in particular the winner and runners up who were presented with medals and plaques.

The Senior Topic, ‘The Christmas presents I would really like to give my teachers’ provided great scope and breadth for the students to have fun while providing entertainment for all present.

Ava Brady, Damien Geoghegan, Jessica McDarby, Doireann McGarry, David Carthy, Aoife Fenlon, Shannon Donagher and Shalom Cornells participated in this competition. We warmly congratulate the runners up Jessica McDarby and David Carty and are so proud of the winner of the Senior Competition Damien Geoghegan who delivered a very though provoking, well written and presented speech outlining his thanks to one of his teachers who has inspired him to empower his voice. He spoke with passion and flair and impressed all present. His speech was very persuasive and well-paced. He spoke clearly and generated enormous rapport with the audience. His use of persuasive language, anecdotes and humour left the judges in no doubt that this young man is a very talented orator. Well done to Damien and all involved.

We also wish to extend our thanks to the Judges for this competition, Ms G Murphy, Ms B Gilligan, Mr Patsy Campion and Ms Grace Mc Cormack. We did not envy their task. Great entertainment was provided by TY students with though provoking shout- outs as the competition unfolded. Well done and thanks to them.

The next instalment of the competition, chaired by Casey Ready, involved the Junior Debating team taking on the teachers with the motion, that this house believes that positive vibes and super lives are a myth: teenagers need to toughen up. The teachers team, who were the proposing team, consisted of Mr Booth, Mr Carroll, Mr T Fitzpatrick and Mr Mitchell. The brave student opposition team consisted of Laura Tully, Karol Wojtkowiak, Tamara Murphy Sheerin and Clodagh Molloy. The excitement and anticipation was palpable as each speaker took it upon themselves to give their opinion and provide much entertaining and passionate rebuttal. The judges for this competition were Ms Amy McDowell, Ms Elaine Mullally, Ms Zarah Norris and Mr Patsy Campion. Our timekeeper for the day was Áine Whelan.

The students eventually were declared the winners of this debate with best speakers awarded to Tamara Murphy-Sheerin and Mr Booth. Mr Booth delivered a very though provoking and eloquent speech and gently convinced students that life isn’t always easy but that by using the correct tools it is possible to overcome challenges, disappointments and adversity. We thank you and warmly congratulate all the participants.

The big guns emerged for the grand finale of the day as the Senior debating team consisting of Damien Geoghegan, David Carty, Steven Hodgins and Jessica McDarby faced the teachers team which consisted of Mr John Heraty, Mr Justin Brown, Ms Siobhan Higgins and Mr Brendan McGlynn. The chairperson for this debate was Anito Marcarelli. An electric atmosphere prevailed as each speaker emerged and took to the podium. This house believes that money makes super lives, was the motion for this debate with the teachers proposing and the students opposing. The speeches from all the competitors were highly entertaining and very humorous and the rebuttal was delivered with passion and conviction. Happily, for the students, they emerged as the winners, with best speakers awarded to Mr Brown and Damien Geoghegan. Damien was an inspirational captain on the day and delivered some killer blows to the proposition. Mr Brown delivered a very well-constructed speech and effortlessly delivered it as he outlined his appreciation for all that money can buy, including and an extensive collection of watches and tailored suits.  He entertained the audience no end, as he unveiled his plans for a new office modelled on non-other than the Oval office! We wish him the best with that one.

A large assembled crowd of students and staff showed their appreciation for the exploits of all concerned and the Principal, Mr Bennett, presented the prizes and thanked the Wellbeing and Amber Committees, as well as everyone who helped and participated. He paid tribute the organising students and teachers, including, Mr Booth, Ms Holloway and Ms Nolan. We look forward to a repeat of this again next year. We congratulate all the winners whose names will now be inscribed on our Empower Your Voice Shield.

In Coláiste Íosagain we encourage all our students to empower their voices and follow the example of Steven Hawkins, who fought so hard to keep his voice and who really understood the power of one’s voice. Let us never forget his words, ‘look up at the stars and not down at your feet.’