Citizens are the Heart of Europe Soapbox in Blanchardstown Library

Citizens are the heart of Europe was the topic of the Europe Direct Soapbox held on the evening of the 25th of September in Blanchardstown library. MEP Paul Murphy acted as chairperson for the evening, his engagement with the competitors and the audience added to the enjoyment and success of the evening.

Six contestants competed on the evening to debate the topic of European Citizenship. Three contestants competed in the under 18 category and three contestants competed in the over 18 category. Each contestant spoke for three minutes on the topic ‘Citizens are the Heart of Europe’. The knowledgeable head judge Ciaran Moore from Toastmaster directed the judging of the event. Ciaran was joined by Michael May from Toastmaster, Michela Benassi from the Citizens Information Board (Dublin 15) and Malgorzata Fiedot-Davies from Eurodesk Ireland. Each judge’s background and experience in there working life added to the high standards presented on the evening. Keeping everything on time on the evening fell into the capable hands of Lisa Deacon from the Europe Direct Centre Blanchardstown. The whole event and its smooth running were down to Enid Bebbington, Librarian in Blanchardstown library.

Each contestant delivered their presentation with professionalism and their content was of the highest quality, which left the judges with a difficult task of selecting a winner from each of the categories and the overall winner of evening for the trip to Brussels.

In the end the winner in the over 18 Category was James Maher and in the under 18 Category Daire Lawler. Each winner was presented with an Ipad.  Both winners go through to the final in Dublin Castle on the 19th of November where there will be an under 18 and an over 18 category and a chance to win a 1000euro

On the night the overall winner was James Maher who was awarded the additional prize of a Trip to Brussels.

The other contestants Tatiana, Sean, Adaubi and Ugo each did themselves proud on the night and gave the judges a difficult job in scoring the event. Each contestant added to a very enjoyable and successful evening. We hope to see them compete again in future Europe Direct Soapbox events