Lough Allen College, Drumkeerin Mental Health Project Public Speaking Team achieved phenomenal success in winning the All-Ireland Public Speaking Final in Trinity College, Dublin on Saturday March 31 last.
In the final on Saturday they saw off very strong challenges of two very well drilled opponents in Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, Co. Tipperary and St Mary’s C.B.S, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.
David Harding, Principal of Lough Allen College, was understandably delighted with the team’s success.
“I am so proud of our public speaking team and their incredible victory on Saturday evening in Trinity College. Given that it was our first time in the Mental Health Final and given the huge disparity in student numbers between Lough Allen and the other two schools, it puts our victory into a very clear perspective.
“I thank the students and their teacher Ms. Shannon most sincerely for the daunting amount of work they have put into this competition. To the parents also, whose support has been invaluable in our pursuit of this most coveted title.”
Mr Harding said Lough Allen College has at its core an incredible interaction between teacher and student, aided in no small way by the smaller class sizes which are maintained with the support of Co Leitrim VEC.
“Our victory and the incredible sense of achievement which comes with it, is shared by the whole school cohort. This was seen by the numbers of students who travelled to Dublin for the final along with the teachers.
“It was most notable that the supporting students themselves chose to wear the school uniform for the occasion. This to me shows the sense of pride students in Lough Allen have in our school and I know from talking with Ms Shannon and her team, it gave a great boost during their speeches.
“It is difficult to put into words the genuine sense of joy which reaching the pinnacle of success in your chosen field brings. To be there with our students to witness the euphoria and celebration when the name of Lough Allen College was called out as victors will live for long in all our memories and indeed in my own particularly.
“Our task however does not finish here. Our students will now go forward to represent Ireland at European Level in this competition. What a group of young people, what an achievement, what a day!”
It is understood a big celebratory night is being planned for the winning team in Drumkeerin.