Timahoe native and law student Gearóidín Ní Fhíobhuí was triumphant last year in the annual Irish language moot court, Bréagchúirt Uí Dhálaigh, took place on Friday, November 9 last.
Gearóidín and Audrey Ní Loingsigh from Offaly of University College Cork saw off a team from University College Dublin,
Celebrating fifteen years since it’s inception, the event is held in memory of the late Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh, former President and Chief Justice of Ireland. The competition gives third level law students an opportunity to display their advocacy skills in an authentic courtroom setting before practicing judges of the Supreme and High Courts.
Participants either defend or prosecute in an appeal against a court judgement. Teams may have between one to four members, and it is not necessary for those members to be attending the same third level college. Competing in Bréagchúirt Uí Dhálaigh once again were teams from University College, Cork , Trinity College, Dublin, University College, Dublin and the Law Society of Ireland.
Preliminary rounds of a high standard were held in the Kings Inns on Friday morning last , 9 November, where all teams had to prepare and plead both sides of the case.
Oral submissions for the appellant and the respondent were restricted to twenty five minutes, with three minutes allowed for rebuttal by both sides. The final was held that evening in the Four Courts, presided over by Supreme Court Judge, Adrian Hardiman who were assisted in the adjudication by High Court Judges, The Honourable Roderick Murphy and the The Honourable Mary Laffoy. Oral submissions were judged under the following criteria : courtesy; logical and well constructed presentation; brevity; comprehensiveness; fluency; correct use of statues, cases and precedents; ability to answer Judges’ questions; ability to deal with the other side’s arguments and lastly, effective use of time given to rebuttal/response to rebuttal.
All the aspiring young barristers were praised for their skills of persuasion, with the main award going to the UCC team, representing the appellant. The delighted winners, Gearóidín Ní Fhíobhuí and Audrey Ní Loingsigh, received a cheque for €600 along with the Gael Linn Perpetual Trophy, while the runners-up from UCD, Peadar Ó Lamhna and Simon Mac Giolla Easpaig, received a cheque for €300.
Presenting the prizes, Gael Linn CEO Antoine Ó Coileáin said ‘Gael Linn is pleased that Bréagchúirt Uí Dhálaigh is proving so popular with law students. As a result of the official status of Irish both at home and in the EU, career opportunities for lawyers with high competence in Irish have never been better. Testament to the status of Irish in the courts is the fact that three senior judges are adjudicating at Bréagchúirt Uí Dhálaigh this year’