Monday, July 22, 2024

Emper NS wins Ireland’s top primary school debating competition 

By Lorraine Murphy
On Wednesday, June 12, the sixth class students of Emper NS became All-Island Concern Primary Debating Champions. The Westmeath winners have had a remarkable journey to success that started in their two-classroom school and culminated on the stage of The Helix Theatre in Dublin.

Kathryn Keenan has been teacher principal of the rural school for 25 years. She credits their victory to the support of the entire community. “The team were just fantastic, the debaters and the timekeepers, they did us proud on that stage. Everyone was involved. The entire class was involved in the research and we always put up an opposition team when rehearsing. Everyone got behind us. Parents helped with research and proofed the scripts, and staff shared their constructive advice. On Wednesday, people of every age came up to The Helix on the bus to support us, from junior infants to retired people and the pupils have now been invited to attend mass in St Matthew’s Church this Sunday, where a special presentation will be made. It’s great for the whole community.”

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