Loreto Balbriggan students earn their place in 2018 Mock Trial semi-final

May 9, 2018 0

The national Mock Trial competition is one of Ireland’s most famous transition year competitions. Beginning in the late 90s, the organisers of this event, Public Access to Law (PAW), have seen endless amounts of talent come and go through the doors of the Criminal Courts of Justice, the competition’s fitting venue.

justiceIt is no lie to say that the Loreto Balbriggan girls have undoubtedly earned their place in 2018s Mock Trial semi-final. With the initial auditions beginning in the middle of March, the team have worked long and hard since then, coming in early, staying back late and putting every ounce of energy and enthusiasm into their cases. The overwhelming array of talent gave the dedicated teachers, Mr Daly and Ms O’Neill, a very difficult job. Seeing as many people as possible, the auditions continued on into April with passionate barristers, solicitors and witnesses auditioning one, two, even three times. The students studied the cases, created their stories and researched the facts, preparing to impress.

Eventually, roles were cast and proper preparation began. For the case of Pat Plaice, talented actor Maeve Curnyn was cast as the accused in question, Aoibha Muhall as Gabby Codd, Emma Dolan as Billy Boyce and Ailis O’Dell as Garda O’Reilly. Emily O’Sullivan and Zoefia May Woods were appointed barristers and Alessandra Grosariu and Ciara O’Reilly as the teams intelligent solicitors. The Fran Cara case sees Dearbhla Flynn cast as Fran herself, the witty Cliodhna Bowers cast as Marjorie Magoo, Ailbhe Rogers and Ailis O’Dell as the talented barristers along with their solicitor, Megan Carroll.

With less than a week to go until the deciding heats, the girls were under pressure to create a powerful team, ready to win. They certainly were not short of help, with the previous years mock trial team taking time out of their busy fifth year lives to give advice and coach. Emily, Zoefia, Ailbhe and Ailis were provided with the help of other team members, fourth year girls who had auditioned and were now offering their advice for the barristers who were spending time writing their powerful opening and closing speeches. The actors spent time perfecting their testimonies and characters, putting on fitting accents, attempting to make the trial more realistic.

Saturday April the 21st came about and the Loreto Balbriggan team made their way into the Criminal Courts of Justice, nervous for what was to come but buzzing with excitement and hope. Upon arrival, the team was notified of the court room they would be in and the opposing teams they would be against. After getting settled and prepared, the judge arrived and their trial began. Pat Plaice was up first, seeing Emily give her opening speech and the witnesses be called to the stand. The Loreto girls were up against a strong team but pulled through triumphantly and won their first trial.  The day continued in their favour with all three rounds being swept up and successfully attained. The closing ceremony quickly dawned and results were in. The Loreto Balbriggan team came second overall! Beaming with pride and delight the girls celebrated with their place in the semi-finals.

Celebrations were short lived as there was no time to waste in preparing for the semi-finals, which are scheduled for Saturday the 12th of May. For the past few weeks the barristers, solicitors and surrounding team members have been critiquing and perfecting every little thing, making sure their performances are just right. Spirits have been high around the school with everyone excited for the big day and proud of the ladies for getting this far. A Pr team has been set up to design and distribute support posters and countdowns around the school and mock trial artist, Lauryn Flynn has created logos and advertising posters for the upcoming date.

Each and every student involved in Mock Trials has given every bit of their time, energy and passion into making this competition a successful one for the school. The verdict remains uncertain on whether the girls will be triumphant on Saturday but in the eyes and hearts of Loreto Balbriggan, they’re already winners.

By Orlagh Hearne.