Climate change was the hot topic for discussion on Wednesday October 9 in Portlaoise County Hall as students and adults all over Laois competed in the regional final of the Europe Direct Soapbox competition.
The annual public speaking competition is organised by Europe Direct in collaboration with the Laois Library Services.
Competitors were invited to speak for three minutes on the motion ‘Climate change is not my problem.’ The stakes were high, with both an iPad and a place in the national final up for grabs on the night. 25 students from the county participated in the 18 and Under section, with a good turnout of adults competing in the Over 19 section.
The Laois schools represented were Portlaoise College, Mountmellick Community School, Coláiste Iosagáin Portarlington and Clonaslee College.
All the students involved were well informed on the topic, and passionately argued the need for action to slow climate change.
Louis Brennan was chief adjudicator, with Leinster Leader journalist Paula Campbell and Cllr Pippa Hackett.
The Junior winner was Kayla Gray from Mountmellick Community School. Second place was won by Laura Geoghegan and third by Laura Slevin with both girls from Coláiste Iosagáin.
First prize in the Adult section was Moyo Cornells, followed by Dave Darcy in second place and Fiona Kavanagh in third.
The winners will go through to the national final in Dublin in November for a chance to win first prize of €1,000 and a trip to Brussels.
Scroll through our gallery of photos, taken by Denis Byrne.