Loreto success continues with wins in history and debating competitions
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It's only March and already it's been a great year for students of Loreto Secondary School in Fermoy who've clocked up a number of major achievements. Hot on the heels of the girls' All-Ireland success on the football field last week, and the school's recent choral competition wins, comes news of more winners in two separate sectors, debating/public speaking and history.
Three second year students at the school took first, second and third place in the U16 public speaking at the recent Feis Maitiú. The three 14 year olds are Saoirse Lonergan who came first, Laoise Ryan who was second and Mollie O'Sullivan who took third place. In debating, Mollie featured again on the team with Nicola Murphy and Sarah O'Leary, who came second in the Cork City Schools Debating Competition, arguing in favour of the topic "That this house would emigrate."
In the Mercier Press and School of History UCC Schools Project Competition, Laoise Ryan clocked up another win, coming first in the junior cycle section of the competition. Megan Blackburne went on to take first prize in the senior cycle section. Both girls attended the prize giving ceremony at UCC on Monday, where they were presented with commemorative plaques and gift vouchers.
Laoise Ryan did her project on the Fermoy railway line and station through the years. It won her special mention at the presentation of prizes where opening remarks were made by Professor Geoffrey Roberts, Head of School and the closing remarks were made by Dr. Finola Doyle-O'Neill.
"I started with the Duke of Devonshire and went through the history of the railway line and station from there. Two months work went into it," Laoise explained. Her project included a rare video of a train going over the viaduct. "Much of my research was done by interviewing people who were connected to the railway," Laoise explained. She's grateful for the time they took to speak to her about it.
Megan Blackburne's project was on Mitchelstown Castle. She visited the site on which the castle stood, took photographs, visited the farm on the estate and spoke with Maura Clifford whom she said was a great help. Maura lives on part of the estate that was the original farm. Local historian and publican, Ned Roche also willingly shared his vast store of knowledge about the castle and estate with Megan, which she greatly appreciates. She says she interviewed a lot of other people too in putting her project together tracing the long history of the castle.
Both girls were delighted to scoop the top prizes in each category.
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