A GOREY student who has the gift of the gab, is receiving almost as many requests for a few bob, as he is being congratulated, after he won €1,000 as part of his prize for winning the Europe Direct Soapbox Public Speaking Competition in Farmleigh House, Dublin.
Michael Dwyer (16) out-talked the competition, and convinced the judges and everyone in the hall that it was not true to say that ' Youth is Wasted on the Young.'
He believes his conclusion ' Youth is not wasted on the young, but life is wasted when we live in peevish regret of the past and are blind to the joys of the now' helped clinch his victory.
His win in the regional final already secured him a trip to Brussels and an iPad 4, and now he has some spending money for the upcoming trip, though Michael said he is starting a fund for a car.
His speech in Farmleigh was watched on by his fifth year English class from Gorey Community School, his English teacher Edel McGrath; his parents Patrick and Sorcha; brothers Evan and Cian; sister Róisín; grandparents Mary and Denis O'Donohoe; his uncle Michael Dwyer; and his aunt Granu Dwyer.
'I'm really nervous when I'm up there,' he admitted. 'I've got really shaky hands, but I keep shaking them out beforehand.' Michael was last to speak and was impressed by the quality of the other speakers. He said he was 'on top of the world' when he was announced as the winner, and a huge scream went up from his crowd of supporters.
He paid tribute to his teacher Edel McGrath who gave him 'great support' and he also thanked school principal Michael Finn for his support. He also thanked competition Europe Direct for sponsoring the bus to the venue, and lots of celebrating was done on the journey home.
In Farmleigh, Michael was presented with his prize by Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government Fergus O'Dowd.