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YOU DECIDE: Which student gets your vote to win 'The Speech'?

Six secondary school students battle it out to win The Speech competition.

IRELAND’S TOP YOUNG debaters will take part in a major competition this weekend in the hope of being crowned the Best Speaker in Ireland.

Eighty students have been chosen from 500 applicants to participate in the Matheson Junior Debating National Mace.

For the intense competition, pupils form teams of two and participate in four debates per day.

Once a motion is released, they have just 20 minutes to prepare their arguments. The speakers are awarded both team and individual points – but it is the individual ones that really count.

When the Mace whittles the group down to just eight people, the Grand Final will commence.

National Finals Day will also see winners of The Speech competition announced.

Founder of the competition, Catherine Duplaa told that she set up the second part of the day to cater for more students.

“I think that debating is a really important skill to develop as it encourages young people not only to voice an opinion but have an intelligent, reasoned and well articulated one. I also understand that it isn’t for everyone and it was with that in mind the ‘The Speech’ was developed.”

The Speech asked students from First to Sixth Year to choose any speech from a movie, TV show or history and perform it for the camera.

There will be winners in both the senior and junior categories, as well as an overall pick.

Who gets your vote?

Junior Finalists

Darragh is a First Year student from Lucan Community College. His speech is from “The Kings Speech”. (Teacher: Ms Celine Phibbs)

Source: Lucan CC Junior Debating/YouTube

Jessica is a First Year student from Coláiste na hInse in Bettystown. Her speech is “Why I Hate School But Love Education” by Suli Breaks.

Alex is a First Year student from Lucan Community College. Her speech is from “The Hunger Games”. (Teacher Ms. Celine Phibbs)

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Source: Lucan CC Junior Debating/YouTube

Senior Finalists

Oisin is a TY student who has been involved in debating a number of years and has won the prestigious Junior Debating Competition hosted by the L&H and LawSoc in UCD. His speech is Panti’s Noble Call.

Source: Oisin Moloney/YouTube

Aaron is also a TY student. He has never been involved in debating but has a great interest in acting and was recently involved in his school’s musical performance of Footloose. His speech is from The Wolf of Wall Street.

Source: Conor Beenham/YouTube

Nathan is a Sixth Year student. He has successfully debated at both Junior and Senior level. His speech is from V for Vendetta.

Source: AfroBob97/YouTube

Which of the speeches is your favourite?

Poll Results:

Alex Healy (235)
Nathan Lennon (137)
Oisin Moloney (123)
Jessica McInerney (119)
I can't decide (104)
Aaron Finnegan (97)
Darragh Bacon (68)

Read our ‘Favourite Speeches’ series including Michael D Higgins, Martin McGuinness and Enda Kenny

Last Year: Secondary school students battle it out to deliver ‘The Speech’

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