Students from St Mary’s College, Arklow, Narrowly Miss Out on Winning ActionAid National Speech Writing Competition


Eve Dobson and Erin Connolly students at St Mary’s College, Arklow, were two of seven runners-up in ActionAid’s National Speech Writing Competition this year, narrowly missing out on the top prize.

The competition final was held in the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). Nine finalists delivered their speeches in front of a panel of judges: Alan O’Neill, CEO, Men’s Development Network; Winifred Ikhine Akinyemi of Irish Aid; Elaine Prendeville, Editor, The Magazine at The Sunday Business Post; and Seona McLoughlin, Coordinator of the Irish Consortium of Gender Based Violence.

 “This is my third year being involved in the ActionAid Speech Writing Competition and again I am truly impressed by the standard of speech writing and delivery of all the participants. Eve and Erin both showed a very high degree of skill and analysis and very narrowly missed out on being announced winners.” said Rodney Rice, ActionAid Ireland Chairman and former RTE Broadcaster Rodney Rice.

Over 100 students entered the competition, aged 14 to 17, from over 30 schools across the country and Eve and Erin narrowly missed out on the winning prize. Eve and Erin’s speeches focused on women’s rights in development.

Winning finalists Jessica Gill, a student at Bandon Grammar in Cork, and Sooad Saleh, a student at Jesus & Mary College, Goatstown, Dublin, will travel with their teachers to visit Kenya to see first-hand ActionAid’s Irish Aid funded women’s rights programme this summer.

The Irish Government, through Irish Aid, funds ActionAid’s Women’s Rights programme in Kenya, Malawi, Nepal and Vietnam. ActionAid uses this funding to work with vulnerable communities to prevent girls from marrying young and then dropping out of school as a result and to prevent gender based violence.

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