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Monday 1 September 2014

Knockbeg College students sprechen Deutsch' to win All Ireland debating title

Published 14/05/2008 | 00:11

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Four Knockbeg students talked their way in to winning an All Ireland debating final this week, in German that is. The students, Niall Bergin, Anthony Buckley, Francis Egan and David O'Connor, who sprechen Deutsch very well, won the national finals of the Siemens All Ireland German Debating Competition in Dublin on Thursday with the help of their teacher Ms Dillon.

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Four Knockbeg students talked their way in to winning an All Ireland debating final this week, in German that is.

The students, Niall Bergin, Anthony Buckley, Francis Egan and David O'Connor, who sprechen Deutsch very well, won the national finals of the Siemens All Ireland German Debating Competition in Dublin on Thursday with the help of their teacher Ms Dillon.

160 pupils from 40 secondary schools around Ireland battled in out for the debating title which was awarded to the Carlow students in the Goethe-Institut in Dublin when they argued against the motion Ireland is losing its identity' with the other finalists from Our Lady's College, Greenhills, Drogheda.

Organised by the German Teachers' Association of Ireland (GDI) in co-operation with the Goethe-Institut Dublin, the competition is now in its 12th year and aims to give pupils an opportunity to use their knowledge of the German language beyond the confines of the classroom and to develop and sharpen their confidence, teamwork and debating skills.

We are thrilled,' said principal of St Mary's Knockbeg College Cyril Hughes. It is difficult enough to win an All Ireland but even more so in another language.'

This isn't the first time that these students have tasted success. Niall Bergin won the first prize in a German essay competition run by the Austrian government and will be presented with his prize on May 21. He also won a scholarship for two weeks at a college in Salzburg from July 6 19.

Francis Egan was awarded the prize for top individual debater at the event and he was in Croke Park on Thursday as one of 25 students in Leinster who received a sports star award with the Evening Herald.

They put in a lot of hard work,' added Mr Hughes. They were in school preparing on the bank holiday Monday and practised at Ms Dillons home on Thursday and Friday when the school was closed.'

David O'Connor was a member of the Knockbeg team that lost out in the semi finals of the same event last year.

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