Tuesday 16 October 2018

Competition gives students their say

Cordelia Daly-Ronayne, Jessica Finnigan, Irland Lorita and Niamh O’Toole from Colaiste Chill Mhantain.
Cordelia Daly-Ronayne, Jessica Finnigan, Irland Lorita and Niamh O’Toole from Colaiste Chill Mhantain.

Mary Fogarty

The Bray and District Soroptimist Club hosted their local final of their Public Speaking competition at the Esplanade Hotel recently.

Bray Club President Anny Verwijs, welcomed students, parents and teachers representing Colaiste Chill Mhantain Wicklow Town, Colaiste Bhride Carnew, St. Gerard's School Bray, Rathdown School Glenageary and Holy Child Killiney.

The finalists were Sophie O' Riordan who spoke on 'Democracy is it a myth or a reality?' - Niamh O'Toole on the 'empowerment of women' and Lina Kyne on 'Friendship and volunteering'. The Bray club will host the Regional Final in Bray during February 2018.

Speaking at the event, Anny reminded students that the aim of the Soroptimist organisation in the community is 'encouraging the students to become part of the global organisation of Soroptimists - where women work advocating on a diverse range of projects to enable and empower others at home and abroad."

The public speaking competition was first established in 1981; co- founded by Soroptimist President of Northern Ireland Marie Brownlee and former Bray club member and Soroptimist President of Republic of Ireland the late Mildred O'Brien.

The competition over the years has rapidly become a lively event supported by young women who speak confidently on topics based on the ideals of Soroptimism - education, empowerment and enabling women and girls globally.

Adjudicators on the night included speech and drama teacher Maeve Miller, Soroptimist member Clare Comerford and solicitor Caroline Fanning.

The three adjudicators had the difficult but enjoyable task of selecting a winning speech. The content and preparation of presentations by the students was highly commended by the adjudicators on topics including topics such as Democracy, Empowering Women, Health/Mental health and Human Rights.

A word of special thanks was given by public speaking convenor and Bray Soroptimist Pat McHugh to all the Club members who organised the event alongside Anne Cloney, Yvonne Mc Brinn and Jacinta Hastings - timekeepers on the night.

To find out more about Soroptimists go to

Wicklow People