Home News Education Laois debater reaches semi-final of Leinster Junior School Debating competition

Laois debater reaches semi-final of Leinster Junior School Debating competition

Weronika Popko of Portlaoise College

A Laois teenager has made it to the semi finals of the illustrious Leinster Junior School Debating competition.

Weronika Popko, a third Year Portlaoise College student, will compete this Thursday for a place in the final.

This year, Portlaoise College competed against some of the most expensive private schools in Leinster.

These included schools such as Belvedere College, St Conleths, Willow Park, Alexandra College, Loreto on the Green, Wilson’s Hospital School, Loreto College Foxrock, St Columba’s College and others.

The famous competition is run by UCD Law Society and L&H, two of the most renowned university debating societies in the English speaking world.

Portlaoise College Students excelled this year. Last year was the first year Portlaoise College took part in the UCD Leinster Junior School Debate.

The college has promoted debating and public speaking at both senior and junior levels and has a debating tradition going back years.

The Junior team has never been beaten in the Laois Libraries Junior Debates.

Last year Portlaoise College debuted in the UCD competition and made a brilliant start. One Portlaoise College team reached the quarter finals.

This year, working from home, all the teams made the break and one team and one individual speaker made it to the quarter final.

The 2020 teams included Suzanne Gabrysiak, Kinga Siddique, Lucy Grace, Bridget Reidy Dundon and Weronika Popko.

Deputy Principal Keith McClearn said: “The Portlaoise College community wishes Weronika the best of luck on Thursday.

“Win or lose, Weronika, we are all very proud of you.”

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.