Rachel’s word-perfect performance

When it comes to word power, a school in Co Cork is really a force to be reckoned with.

Pupils at Loreto Secondary School in Fermoy have made great strides when it comes to public speaking.

And the school’s success continued when one of its pupils, Rachel Riegel, was presented with the Soroptimist Ireland national public speaking award.

The 16-year-old received her award from Soroptimist Ireland president Barbara Harrison, who also presented a €500 bursary to the school.

Rachel defeated hundreds of other young contestants at the final which was held in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.

The chosen topic was: ‘Education is the soul of society’.

Sarah O’Leary, her teacher and coach, said the transition-year student was a fantastic speaker.

“She’s very bubbly and very confident, she’s a beautiful speaker,” Ms O’Leary said.

It was the first Soroptimist Ireland national title for the school.

Last January another pupil, Hannah Beresford acquitted herself admirably when she competed in the world debating championships which were held in Cape Town, South Africa.

“Pupils at the school are very involved in Fheis Maitiu and speech and drama.

“We also have excellent debating teams,” Ms O’Leary said.

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