Ballyclare pupil speaks out to take competition win

Laura Currie and Nicole Reid from Ballyclare Secondary School, Lydia McCracken from Ballyclare High School and Kim Montgomery from Larne Grammar with Jackie Gilmour, Newtownabbey Soroptimists Past President and Past Regional President at the public speaking competition. INNT 50-501CON
Laura Currie and Nicole Reid from Ballyclare Secondary School, Lydia McCracken from Ballyclare High School and Kim Montgomery from Larne Grammar with Jackie Gilmour, Newtownabbey Soroptimists Past President and Past Regional President at the public speaking competition. INNT 50-501CON

More than 20 girls from post-primary schools across east Antrim took part in the Newtownabbey Soroptimists’ annual public speaking competition, held recently at Monkstown Village Centre.

Year 12 and 13 pupils representing grammar and secondary schools gave well-rehearsed speeches on a variety of topics in a bid to secure a place in the Northern Ireland final of the competition, which will take place in Bangor in February.

The adjudicators for the regional heat were Dr Joan McQuoid from Queen’s University, Wilma Neilly from Newtownabbey Senior Citizens’ Forum and Jackie Gilmour, Newtownabbey Soroptimists Past President and Past Regional President.

The winner on the night was Laura Currie from Ballyclare Secondary School, who spoke on the topic ‘Education is the most important weapon which can change our world’.

Dr McQuoid praised Laura for demonstrating her personality in a well researched speech.

Laura, who is currently studying History, English Literature and Geography at

AS Level, is hoping to become a lawyer.

Nicole Reid, also from Ballyclare Secondary School, took second place, Sara Patterson from Carrickfergus Grammar was third, and Lydia McCracken from Ballyclare High and Kim Montgomery from Larne Grammar came joint fourth.

“All the contestants were very good. They had all researched and prepared excellent speeches.

The competition was of a very high standard, so the adjudicators had a tough job,” a spokesperson for Newtownabbey Soroptimists said.