Schools in Wicklow are reminded to enter the ActionTalks competition

Students in Wicklow are reminded to submit their entries to ActionTalks, a national speech writing competition organised by ActionAid. The competition, which opened for entries on 14th October, is aimed at secondary school students aged 14 to 17. ActionAid has already had a lot of interest from students across the country and hopes for more entrants from Wicklow before Friday 15th January 2021.

Finalists from around the country will be invited to deliver their speech to a panel of esteemed judges at a Zoom event on 24th February 2021. This year the prize is a €500 voucher for the winner and a €500 voucher for their teacher.

Wicklow student Helen Ryan, a past-pupil from St Mary’s College Arklow, was joint winner in the first year of the competition in 2015.

ActionAid provides long term support to the poorest and most marginalised women and children in developing countries, so they can overcome the obstacles holding them back. Its Women’s Rights Programme, funded by Irish Aid, works to eliminate violence against women and girls through innovative community-led approaches.

Now in its seventh year, this year the competition will focus on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted on women’s rights and how we can create a more equal world post-pandemic. ActionAid is asking students to write a speech on one of three topics.

The choice of topics for the 2021 competition are: 

  1. The coronavirus pandemic is an opportunity to imagine a more equal and sustainable world, but we must act now.
  2. With a shocking increase in violence against women and girls, the coronavirus pandemic has shown us that the struggle for gender equality is far from over.
  3. The coronavirus pandemic has reminded us of the importance of global solidarity and international aid.

Siobhán McGee, CEO of ActionAid Ireland said: “Each year we get great feedback from participants to say that the competition led them to research and learn about new issues. This year young people entering the competition will have themselves dealt with a very challenging year due to the coronavirus pandemic. We hope that this competition will offer young people a chance to reflect on this experience while also considering what it would be like to live through a pandemic under different circumstances, and also think about what kind of future they would like in a post-pandemic world.”

To enter, students can ask their teacher for details or visit for more information.

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