Press and Media
Press Release 22 May 2013
The atmosphere in the 17th Century courthouse in Loughrea can only be described as electric with 36 schools from around the country competing in the recent FIFTH annual Ireland West Mock Trials Competition organized under the new umbrella of Law Education For Schools.
This Transition Year secondary school law programme, which is organized and coordinated by James T. Fahy, Barrister of the Western Circuit, is designed to give second level school goers an insight into the workings of the Irish Legal system, which is not provided for anywhere else in the second level curriculum and is a basic necessity for all young adults. This programme has been running for five years now and each year is growing in popularity. The Mock Trial competition is preceded by a classroom module presented in the school during the school year to transition year students over one two or five days depending on what works for the school , logistics and budget taken into consideration.All information available on the website www.laweducationforschools.com
Local schools from Galway and all over the country were included and the hosts, St Bridget’s Vocational Loughrea had to pull out at the last minute.
Schools have to argue a fabricated murder case, presenting both prosecution and defense, while a 12 member jury decides the fate of the accused in each case. The judge decides the outcome of the competition on a points scored basis and the winning school gets a perpetual trophy with several other performance-related prizes.
The competition was run over Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the 13th to the 15th, the semi finals and final were held on Friday, 17th May.
Contesting the semi finals were Grange Community School Dublin, Versus Carraroe Comprehensive Co Galway and Coláiste Iósaef, Killmallock, Co.Limerickversus St Josephs Castlebar Co Mayo.
Carraroe Comprehensive, CoGalwaymade it through to take on Castlebar, Mayo in the final. It went down to the last witness cross examination which resulted in Carraroe been pipped at the post by a single point. Delighted to say the standard was exceptionally high this year and the students really enjoyed themselves albeit a very brain draining competition all round.
This year we were delighted to have an Outside Broadcast by Galway Bay Fm from the court house on the Wednesday, Johnny Richards from GBFM broadcasted his very popular show and interviewed some of the students and teachers who were participating for a practical insight and a user perspective. Johnny was so impressed that he can’t wait to come back next year!!
Much gratitude is extended to Bridie from McDs restaurant who supplied the refreshments at a knock down price for all the contestants, all the Court Staff at Loughrea Courthouse and members of the Court Services for their assistance and especially to the main sponsor, Mr. GREG NOLAN & CO SOLICITORS, 12 The Crescent, Galway City, without whom the event would not be possible.
Greg was at the finals to make the presentations on Friday.
The Programme is available country wide and this last year involved schools including:
Dominican Convent, Taylors Hill Galway, St Paul’s Oughterard, St. Bridget’s Vocational School, Loughrea, Presentation College, Athenry, Clifden Community School, Coláiste Iósaef, Kilmallock Co Limerick and Gort Community School, Vec Roscommon, Grange Co Dublin, St Brendan’s (SEM) Killarney Tullamore College, Garbally College B/sloe Bundoran, Ballyshannon, Gweedore, Killybegs, Carrick Letterkenny. Ballybofey Stranorlar in Donegal, St Peters Passage West, Kanturk, Charleville, in Cork, St Bridget’s Carnew, St Brendan’s Arklow CBs in Wicklow, Coláiste Óirial in Monaghan, Sacred Heart Drogheda, Coláiste Dún Íosaigh, Cahir, St Anne’s, Abbey CBS, Tipp Town, St Mary’s Secondary School Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, to mention but a few.
Individual prize winners for this year’s competition include:
Best Speaker: Miss Abbey Dempsey, Dominican College Taylor’s Hill, Co.Galway
Best Reporter: Miss Amber Davey,PresentationCollege, Athenry, Co.Galway
Best Costume: Miss Aimee Palmer, Dominican College Taylor’s Hill, Co.Galway
Best Actor: Miss Finnoula De Bhailis, Carraroe Comprehensive, Co.Galway
Best Artist: Miss Niamh Kavanagh,GrangeCommunitySchool,Dublin
Best Humour: Mr Cian Mulqueen, Coláiste Iosef Kilmallock, CoLimerick