First Year pupils in Our Lady’s Bower are introduced each year to the world of communications.

Participation by pupils helps greatly their self-confidence and also helps them to relate better with their classmates and peers. It also helps them to abandon their shyness and acquire a sense of humour.

At the end of their first year, pupils participate in a public Speaking Competition for the Nicola Ward Perpetual Trophy.

Nicola was a first year pupil in 1986, unfortunately she met with a tragic accident. Like all first years, she was full of the joys of life and youth. The Competition is a fitting way to remember her and her family who have maintained a strong bond with the school.

It was Eamonn Higgins who for many years engineered the wonderful success story that is the first year public speaking – transforming timid, tiny tots into confident and eloquent young ladies.

Eamonn was a geography teacher in the school for many years, but this was his ‘Tour de Force’. This was a completely voluntary effort stemming from a generosity of spirit to give of one’s time and talent freely.

Some quotes from competitors

  • On the topic It’s a Man’s World:

Women are the backbone of society and men are the funny bone! So if they can’t run a little country like ours how are they meant to rule the world?

  • On the topic Pink:

The girlie zone…what do we talk about in the girlie zone…pink, pink, pink and more pink.

  • On the topic Is Life What You Make It?:

Who is happier? Well, those in the third world have retained their ability to live one day at a time, while we in the western world, are continually living in the future, striving for the things we don’t have…a sure recipe for unhappiness.

In our lives we have negatives, our mistakes, but we can develop in becoming more mature, we learn from them and better ourselves from our past experiences. People say a picture paints a thousand words, and just think, what will your life picture say about you?!

  • On the topic Honesty:

Honesty truly is a beautiful virtue, one that should be held most highly in our regard. An Honest soul is a happy soul and it is necessary that we free ourselves from the torture and burden of deceit, and be honest with one another, but most importantly, be honest with ourselves.

  • On the topic My Favourite Place:

My favourite places are not outdoors or indoors, but enclosed in pages of books and novels.

Roll of Honour

1990 Oonagh Reid
1991 Anne Farrell
1992 Janice Gaffey
1993 Tricia Daly
1994 Marguerite Leahy
1995 Elaine Finneran
1996 Mi Ambikarajah
1997 Elaine Fox
1998 Jane Salmon
1999 Patricia Mulvey
2000 Eleanor Digby
2001 Marianne Cassidy
2002 Kate Costello
2003 Roisin Carey

2004 Christine Mimnagh-Flemming
2005 Caoimhe Greene
2006 Mary-Catherine Walsh
2007 Katie Dunne
2008 Eadaoin Daly
2009 Katie McClean
2010 Olwyn Sheridan
2011 Imogen Gray
2012 Aisling Benson
2013 Siofra Connolly
2014 Tatyana Jocher
2015 Tara Flanagan

2016 Eabha Crehan

2017 Emma Brody

2018 Suzanna O’Connor

2019 Ciara Fallon