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The annual inter-Loreto Mary Ward Public Speaking Competition was reinstated this year, with Loreto College Coleraine students competing against their counterparts from Loreto Grammar School Omagh. The competition was organised by Mrs Siobhan Mullan, Coordinator of Public Speaking at Loreto College Coleraine, whom commended all the students taking part on the exceptionally high standard of their speeches.

Students participated in three age groups, with Year 8 students speaking for 2-3 minutes, Year 9/10 students for 3-4 minutes and Year 11/12 students for 4-5 minutes on a range of current and universal topics as diverse as the role of Mary Ward in today’s society, the role and influence of social media and universal themes such as good manners, honesty, forgiveness, education and world peace.

The winners of the Competition were as follows:

Year 8 (Junior) – first place Aebha Devlin (Omagh); second place Maire Deeney (Coleraine), joint third place Doireann Campbell (Coleraine) and Olivia McBride (Coleraine).

Year 9/10 (Intermediate) – joint first place Molly-Mae Dooley (Omagh) and Rose McNamara (Omagh); second place Grace Harper (Omagh); third place Joshua McDowell (Omagh).

Year 11/12 (Senior) – joint first place Meghan Feeney (Coleraine) and Orla McHenry (Coleraine); joint second place Anna Morgan (Omagh) and Hannah Ruth Mullan (Coleraine).

Among the Coleraine prizewinners, Doireann and Olivia spoke about whether virtual friends are real friends, while Joshua addressed the topic ‘Social Media: Friend or Foe?’ In the Senior class, Meghan spoke about forgiveness being the most difficult virtue, Orla spoke about the relevance of Loreto education today and Hannah Ruth spoke on education having the power to change the world.

Mrs Mullan thanked all the participating students from both schools, and Loreto Omagh teacher Mrs Siobhan Gormley, as well as Olivia Doherty (former Loreto student), who acted as Adjudicator.

Congratulations to all the participants from both Omagh and Coleraine, and very well done indeed to the prizewinners!


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