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2021 >>

Obviously this year, we are unable to run our Public Speaking Competition in its usual format, so a decision needed to be taken as to what approach we need to take in these difficult times. Over the last few weeks, we have been consulting with our local Conveners, Club members and schools to discover how they felt about an innovative approach.   Some Clubs were very interested in taking a different approach and others felt that it was worth while waiting for the traditional Competition to return, after the pandemic.

As a result of this consultation, so we have taken the decision to organise it virtually, with each speaker recording their speech to a memory stick which can be forwarded to the local convener and which will be judged in accordance with the Adjudication Guidelines.  No Club or school will have any pressure to participate, if they choose not to.   In this year, there will be no impromptu section to the competition. 

We are asking that each participant will record the speech in their school setting, in the presence of a teacher/TY supervisor and that the recordings will be sent to the local convener, so that they can be adjudicated.  We have learned from the experience of the Dungarvan Club, who dealt so effectively in this way with the National Final, 2020.

The local heats will be heard 27th March, Regional heats on 24th April and the National Final will be on Saturday, 15th May.


Isobel Tiernan, winner of the Soroptimist Speaking Competition 2020. Isobel Tiernan, winner of the Soroptimist Speaking Competition 2020.
President Anne Higgins with national winners Ailbhe Harrington and Isobel Tiernan receiving their prizes at the regional final held back in February.
Nora O’Donovan, Isobel’s teacher at St. Angelas, presenting Isobel Tiernan with her prize - socially distant of course!

It is hard to underestimate the effect of Covid 19 on this year’s Competition because the organisation had to be changed so many times between the declaration of the pandemic and lock down on 19th March until the Final took place, virtually, on 10th October in Dungarvan.

It took an enormous amount of consultation between the various Club conveners, speakers and schools involved, because obviously the Competition for which they had applied had to go through many changes in form and locations in attempts to arrive at a conclusion which was as fair as possible to all the competitors within the Government guidelines.

Eventually, the National Public Speaking Convener, Anne O’Sullivan the President and members of the Dungarvan Club (the host Club), Anne Higgins and her team, in consultation with the National President, Catherine and the Executive, determined that a virtual final was the only solution.   The eight pre-recorded speeches would be viewed by the Adjudicators in their own homes  and they could then have a three-way consultation and the winner would be declared.  

The eight finalists were: Ailbhe Harrington, Colaiste Bride, Enniscorthy (Wexford  Club); Orlaigh Ni Uiginn, Laurel Hill Colaiste, FCJ, (Limerick Club); Sophie Coleman, and Ella Durkin – both from St Attracta’s Community School, Tubbercurry, (Ballina Club); Regina White, Loreto College, Cavan (Drogheda Club); Eve Conway, Athlone Community College (Athlone Club); Isobel Tiernan, St Angela’s Secondary School, Waterford (Dungarvan Club); Caitlin Canavan O’Driscoll, Mount St Michael Secondary School, Roscarbery (Bandon Club).

Isobel Tiernan was adjudged to be the overall winner. View Isobel's winning speach >>

Mildred O'Brien perpetual trophy

Mildred O'Brien Perpetual Trophy.