Wexford People

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Teacher's book on being debating coach


James McGovern

James McGovern

James McGovern

Sky News journalist Enda Brady will launch a 300-page memoir by his former Enniscorthy CBS teacher James McGovern at the Riverside Park Hotel on Wednesday February at 7 p.m.

John White, the former General Secretary of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland, (ASTI) will be a guest speaker at the launch.

The book titled Stand Up, Speak Out and sub-titled Memoir of a Public Speaking and Debating Tutor tells the 32-year story of how James McGovern, a well-known Wexford and Longford county footballer, and secondary school teacher of history and philosophy, trained students from St Mary's CBS to overcome shyness and lack of confidence to become national public speaking and debating champions.

The students' own accounts of their training and the schools, colleges and university teams they competed against all over Ireland, are presented in the book which is illustrated with photographs.

The personal testimonies of a number of members of winning Enniscorthy teams, who are now adults, are featured, including Ian Kehoe, former editor of the Sunday Business Post, now a member of the board of RTÉ; Darragh Clifford, an editor with INM; Emmett Moorehouse, a chartered tax adviser; Martin Breen, a veterinary surgeon in Canada; Neil Hughes, managing partner of Baker Tilly Ireland; Padraig Hall, accountant with Ferrybank Motors; Andrew Hughes, historian and author; Gerard Murphy, teacher; Laurence Doyle, corporate lawyer, and Jim Murphy, teacher.

During 32 of his 37 years as a teacher, James trained St. Mary's CBS teams to win the national Mental Health Association of Ireland Project, the Knights of Columbanus Public speaking competition and the prestigious university competition, the Phil Speaks.

He provided after-school training in public speaking and debating tecniques to numerous students throughout the Enniscorthy area.

When they started, they were shy, lacking confidence and hesitant and it was most gratifying to see them grow in competence and confidence so much so that many of them, now adults, address tens and thousands and millions of people across the world', said James.

'Public speaking and debating should be mandatory subjects on the curricula of both primary and secondary schools', he suggested.

James is a prominent GAA activist, having been involved with Glynn-Barntown and as a member of the Wexford senior football team. He has trained Wexford Minor Football and U-21s and managed the Wexford ladies football team.

He is also a member of the national education committee of the Association of Secondary Teachers of Ireland (ASTI).

The book, his third, marks his retirement from his 37-year career as a teacher.

He and his wife Bernadette, also a secondary school teacher, live in Killurin. They have three adult children, Claire, Susan and Eimear.

Wexford People