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Message from Moya Murphy, National Convener for Public Speaking:

Firstly, may I thank each one of you most sincerely for your support and co-operation during the last year.
I have one more request and then I will leave you in peace for the summer months!!!!

Could you forward to me suggested topics for the coming year under the usual headings.  I will then compile a list of all the  topics submitted to me and ask you to select one from each category.
You might like to get the collective view of your members or of your Public Speaking Committee members or yourself and your president, whatever suits you best.


Submit topics by Wednesday, 16th May.

Full list of topics will be  sent to you on Tuesday, 22nd May  with a request to select one topic in each section and return to me by Wednesday, 13th June.

Topics for 2018/2019 will be issued on Friday, 15th June . Highest number of votes in each category will determine the topic selected.




a. Human Rights: “The real weapons of mass destruction are the hardened hearts of humanity”...Leonard Cohen.

b. Health: How can we build our resilience to protect and improve our mental health?

c. Environment: “We are not owners, we are caretakers for Mother Earth.”...Bob Randall.

d. Democracy: Democracy, myth or reality?

e. Empowerment of Women: “If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves”...Thomas Edison.

f. Education: With guns you can kill terrorists; with education you can kill terrorism.

g. Friendship & Volunteering: At school or online, bullying is never the answer. Do friendships save you from the effects of bullying, or does it take more?

Edco logo

We Welcome Edco as a Sponsor of our competition

The National Final was held in Newman Institute Ballina, Co. Mayo on Saturday, 10th March.


Winner of 2017/18 Public Speaking Competition

Photograph a. from left - Hilary Lally, Marian Harkin MEP, Ballina President Marie Morris, National President Teresa Irwin, Dara Calleary T.D., Emily Moore, Winner, Emily Moore N. KIldare, Moya Murphy, National Convener and Darina Dolan, Vice President.

Photograph b. front row: Emily Moore, Charlotte Parrott, Erin Dee, Laura Campion, Medb  Brereton-Hurley, Fionnuala Maher, Kerry Tierney, Charlie Byrne.
Photograph b. back row: Hilary Lally (,.............) Martina Harford, CEO Edco Adjudicator, Teresa Irwin, National President, Marie Morris, President Ballina, Darina Dolan, Vice President SI Ireland & Adjudicator, Marian Harkin, MEP & Adjudicator, Moya Murphy, National Convener.

Public Speaking Competition, Final, Ballina, 10th March 2018

The local winners from all over the country made their way to Ballina last Saturday to participate in the final of the Public Speaking Competition. Wonderful Soroptimist hospitality was provided by President Marie and her members to those who had travelled – some of them for very long distances.

In a stimulating and informative afternoon, we were challenged to consider the impact our lives and lifestyle was having on our environment, the importance of broadest possible education for the peaceful future of mankind, the necessity to nurture the future, so  that mankind  may remain open to the possibilities to change.

The order of speakers was:-

Emily Moore, topic C; Charlotte Parrott, Topic B; Erin Dee, Topic C; Laura Campion, Topic F;
Medb Brereton-Hurley, Topic A; Fionnuala Maher, Topic C; Kerry Tierney, Topic E; Charlie Byrne, Topic C

Judges, Martina Harford, CEO of Edco, Marian Harkin, MEP and Darina Dolan, President Elect of SI, ROI, finally decided that Emily Moore won the day, so the National Final will be held next year in North Kildare.

Thanks again to SI, Ballina and to Moya Murphy, National Convener for Public Speaking.

Download Competition documents

Application forms are sent directly to schools by  the  local club convenor.

The National Convenor,  Moya Murphy, will make the necessary contact with the local convenor on receipt of your  name and location.

E-mail Moya Murphy

Participants in Regional Competition Mullingar
First of the Regional Competitions in Mullingar, yesterday. Very high standards and the two girls to go forward to Ballina will be Fionnula Maher from Westmeath and Medhbh Brereton-Hurley, from Drogheda.

Winners of Bray Regional competition
Winnersof the Bray Regional Competition Emily Moore , Holy Faith Community School. Rathcoole and Charlie Byrne, Abbey Community College, Waterford. Reserve - Niamh O' Toole , Colaiste Chill Mhantain, Burkeen, Co. Wicklow with Anny Verwijs-Dees, President SI Bray.

Winners of the Ballina Regional Competition are Laura Campion, St Mary's Secondary School, Ballina (representing SI Ballina). Charlotte Parrott, St Michael's Community School, Kilmihil, Co. Clare (representing SI Ennis).
Reserve - Grace Gallagher, Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Co Sligo (representing SI Ballina).

Regional winners Killarney
The winners of S.I. Killarney Regional Public Speaking Competition 2018 were Erin Dee, ISK Killorglin Topic C; Kerry Tierney, Ursuline Secondary School Thurles Topic E; Pattie Maguire St Angela's College Cork (Reserve) Topic B
Mildred O'Brien perpetual trophy

Mildred O'Brien Perpetual Trophy.

On 9th. February 2018 we celebrated our past winners of the Public Speaking Competition in the RDS, Dublin.

Martina Harford, CEO of The Educational Company of Ireland (Edco) who made a presentation to the meeting of the National Association Members on Saturday 25th. November 2017.

Presentation to winner of  2017 Public Speaking Competition

Kate Gaughan, St Josephs Secondary School, Foxford
, winner of the Public Speaking Competition 2016/17 in Castlebar, representing SI Ballina Club. Congratulations Kate. Seen here with National President, Maria Finnegan and adjudicators Teresa Irwin, National VP, Killarney, Mrs Fionnuala O'Kelly Kenny and Dr Sean Roland.

Entry form

Download entry form

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The Girls’ Public Speaking Competition was established in 1981, jointly, by Soroptimist President Republic of Ireland, Mildred O’ Brien, and Soroptimist President, Northern Ireland, Marie Brownlee.

The aims of the competition are:i

  • To encourage girls to play a more prominent part in public life.
  • To improve the art of communication
  • To encourage girls to develop the skill to speak effectively and to articulate with clarity.
  • To develop self-confidence and personality.

Topics are based on the Programme Areas identified by Soroptimist International:

  • Economic Empowerment.
  • Education.
  • Environmental Sustainability.
  • Food Security and Healthcare.
  • Violence and Conflict Resolution.

Participants should be in 4th., 5th., or 6th. year in Secondary school.

Girls Who Have Qualified for the Regional Heats:  
S.I. Athlone:   Rachel Lyons, Mercy Secondary School, Ballymahon; Danielle Madden, Athlone Community College Images >>
  Reserve Rebecca Armstrong, Our Lady’s Bower, Athlone  
S.I. Ballinasloe:   Maeve Gilmore, Colaiste Mhuire, Ballygar, Co. Galway; Deirdre Leydon, Scoil Mhuire, Ballinasloe  
  Reserve Nessa Hanlon, Raphael’s College, Roscrea, Co. Galway  
S.I. Bray :   Sophie O’ Riordan, St. Gerard’s School, Bray; Niamh O’ Toole, Colaiste Chill Mhantain, Burkeen, Co. Wicklow
Images >>
  Reserve: Line Kyne, Rathdown Secondary School, Glenageary.  
S.I. Ballina:   Grace Gallagher, Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone; Laura Campion, St. Mary’s Secondary School, Ballina Images >>
  Reserve: Lucy Hamilton, Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone  
S.I. Bandon:   Lucy Gilmartin, Colaiste ne Toirbhirte, Bandon; Sarah Wynroe, St. Mary’s Secondary School, Macroom.  
  Reserve: Kate Quinlan, Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, Co Cork.
S.I. Castlebar:   Molly Mc Hugh, St. Joseph’s Secondary School, Castlebar; Kai Coyle, Sacred Heart School, Westport Images >>
  Reserve: Rebecca Walsh, Sacred Heart School, Westport
S.I. Clonmel:   Kerry Tierney, Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles; Halannah White, Comeragh College, Carrick – on -  Suir Images >>
  Reserve: Anika Haschemian, Rockwell College  
S.I. Cork:   Theresa Benny, St. Mary’s Secondary School, Charleville , Co Cork; Patty Mac Guire, St. Angela’s College, Cork. Images >>
  Reserve: Emma Coffey, St. Angela’s College, Cork City.
S.I. Drogheda:   Cynthia Bello, St Oliver’s Community College; Medbh Brearton, Colaiste na hInse. Images >>
  Reserve: Aisling Gallagher, Our Lady’s College, Greenhills
S.I. Dublin:   Ceri Doyle, St. Mary's Secondary School, Glasnevin; Yvonne O'Kiersey, Notre Dame School, Churchtown
  Reserve: Erin Keenan, Loretto Balbriggan
S.I. Ennis:   Katie Coll, Colaiste Muire, Ennis; Charlotte Parrott, St. Michael’s Community College, Kilmihil.  
  Reserve: Katie Mc Dermott, Colaiste Muire, Ennis.
S.I. Mullingar:   Niamh O’ Reilly, Loreto College; Fionnula Maher, Loreto College Images >>
  Reserve: Niamh Cusack, Loreto College, Mullingar.
S.I. North Kildare:   Aoife Kavanagh, Newbridge College; Emily Moore, Holy Family Community School,  Rathcoole.  
  Reserve: Eve Quinn, Holy Family Secondary School, Newbridge.
S.I. Killarney:   Erin Dee, ISK Secondary School, Killorglin; Eimear Beazley, Presentation Secondary School, Killarney
  Reserve: Niamh Mc Mahon, Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk, Tralee
S.I. Sligo  

Siofra Kelleher, Ursuline College Sligo, Finiskiln Rd., Sligo; Cadhla Doyle,St Clare's Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim.

Images >>
  Reserve: Alva Sheridan St Clare's Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim.
S.I. Wexford:   Roisin O Sullivan; Krishna Ramsh, Loreto, Wexford Images >>
  Reserve: Lisa Tobin, Ramsgrange Community School