WEXFORD Toastmasters are toasting the success of one of their own after she came second in the recent Division D final held in Clonmel, a competition that embraces 19 clubs.
Emer Mulhall's second place was a huge achievement for the Wexford club and for Emer, who is blind.
'The title of my talk was to speak properly and was a pun on these words,' she said.
'Grammar and sentence structure is important, but it's important to keep all the idiosyncracies and dialects that are in use to humorously put this across,' she told this newspaper.
Emer said her seven-minute talk -partly based on her own experiences travelling around the country with her guide dog Trudy, played on accents from places including Dublin, Cork and Belfast.
'My main thing was to get across that regional dialects are very important and are part of what we are,' she said, who used Trudy as a prop to inject humour into her talk.
'I am totally blind and have used braille all my life.. and I didn't have any notes of my speech. You have to time yourself, it's a discipline you learn in Toastmasters who have provided me with lots of valuable advice and gave me more confidence with things like stance and gestures,' she said.
Emer, who originally hails from Ashford, in County Wicklow, has been living in Wexford for the past 10 years and works in the local authority housing department. Last year, she was president of Wexford Toastmasters.