The senior debating team of Aoife Ní Lochlainn, Róisín Ní Mheara and Charlotte Nic Giolla Dubh from Loreto Secondary School, Clonmel won the regional heat of the Comortas An Phiarsaigh Gael Linn in Abbeyleix to qualify for the All-Ireland Final at the end of the month.
The Loreto students proposed the motion ‘Is méanar dóibh siúd ata fostaithe san earnáil phoiblí in Éirinn!’ (It is well for those who work in the public service in Ireland!) in a lively debate with teams from Holy Child Secondary School, Killiney; Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles; and Loreto Abbey, Dalkey.
They greatly impressed the adjudicators with their oratorical skills and were declared winners to the delight of their supporters. Teacher Jessica Ní Chatháin, who has helped and directed the team to victory in their various heats since November, is justifiably proud of her students.
The team now go forward to the All-Ireland Final in Dublin at the end of March, where they will compete for the coveted Gael Linn trophy.
The Gael Linn debating competitions have been an important element in Irish education for over 50 years and are a major stimulus in the promotion of excellence in spoken Irish.
Organised annually for second-level schools nationwide, Comórtas an Phiarsaigh attracted a high level of entry again this year, with schools from Malin Head to Mizen Head participating.