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Environmental Youth Speak 2023

This popular annual competition is designed to give Primary and Secondary school pupils their say on current environmental topics.

The 2023 Environmental Youth Speak Final took place in Newcastle Community Cinema on Wednesday 29 March 2023. Over 36 primary and 8 secondary schools had submitted their online presentations and nine talented pupils, six from the junior section and three from senior, were selected to go forward to present their environmentally themed speeches in person to a panel of judges.

This year’s topics were “By 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. Let’s stop marine pollution before it’s too late” for the junior section and “How can living sustainably help to ease the cost-of-living crisis” for the senior section.

Finalists were from St Bronagh’s Rostrevor; Sacred Heart Dundrum; St Moninna’s Clouhogue; Holy Cross Kilkeel; Annsborough Integrated; St Paul’s Cabra and the senior schools were Blackwater Integrated College Downpatrick; St Patrick’s Grammar School Downpatrick and St Louis’s Grammar School Kilkeel.

The judges were very impressed by how thought-provoking and informative the speeches were with each participant demonstrating a deep understanding of the importance of their topic. After much deliberation they chose Eva McKeown from St Moninna’s Primary School, Cloughogue, as this year’s junior winner, and Eamonn Murray from St Patrick’s Grammar School, Downpatrick as the senior winner.

Runners-up in the junior section were Éilis Donnelly from Annsborough Integrated Primary School and Ramona Hamill-Davision from Sacred Heart Primary School, Dundrum. Runners up in the senior section were Emma Welch from Blackwater Integrated College, Downpatrick and Hannah Murney from St Louis Grammar School, Kilkeel.

Highly commended in the junior section were Adhrán McCartney, St Bronagh’s Primary School, Rostrevor; James McMorrow, Holy Cross Primary School, Atticall and Louisa Gribben, St Paul’s Primary School, Cabra.