North Kerry students in local debate

Winners of North Kerry debate on alcohol from Causeway Comprehensive Left to right Debora Canty, Linda Fizgerald, teacher Michelle Mulvihill, Lorranie Fitzgerald, Thomas Enright and Katelyn Diggin. Photo by Sinead Kelleher
Winners of North Kerry debate on alcohol from Causeway Comprehensive Left to right Debora Canty, Linda Fizgerald, teacher Michelle Mulvihill, Lorranie Fitzgerald, Thomas Enright and Katelyn Diggin. Photo by Sinead Kelleher

Sinead Kelleher

The future of our country is in safe hands based on the high calibre of students in North Kerry who took to the stage at Listowel Community Centre last Thursday to voice their arguments on alcohol and mental health.

Causeway Comprehensive Secondary School and Listowel Presentation Secondary put convincing arguments to North Kerry secondary students in the final of the local debate.  The chosen motion for the day was "That Alcohol is a leading contributory factor to the rise in anxiety and mental health issues of young people today." Causeway Comprehensive School proposed the topic and Presentation Secondary School were the opposing team. Both teams showed understanding of their chosen topic and a talent for presenting their strong arguments.  It was no easy decision for the judges - including journalist Sinead Kelleher from The Kerryman, Inspector John Kelly from Listowel Garda Station and Liz Dunn from Listowel Writers Week - to choose the winner. 

Causeway proved to have the overall edge and were crowned the winners of the 2019 debate.  The debate was part of a wider event to focus on alcohol as part of Listowel Community Action on Alcohol project (LCAA) - a North Kerry initiative aimed at tackling alcohol issues in the town.  Local journalist and former student of St Michael's College in Listowel,  Gerard Mulvihill, was the guestd speaker on the day and he shared his life story with students.  Later on Thursday the Listowel Alcohol Action group supported the launch of Alcohol Action Ireland's "Silent Voices" Campaign at the Seanchaí Centre in Listowel.  This included guest speaker, Marion Rackard, daughter of the famous Wexford hurler Nicky Rackard who won two All Ireland medals for Wexford in converation with Dolores Tiernan, Director of Talbot Grove about the impact of parental alcohol misuse on children.  Also speaking on the night was Tarbert native, Paddy Creedon, who is open in sharing his experience  of his life as a problem drinker and his recovery.

Silent Voices aims to promote an understanding of the adverse impacts of parental alcohol misuse on the lives of children, including children who are now adults.

Kerryman

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