National Speech

Writing Competition

The 2025 ActionTalks Speech Writing Competition will launch this October!

Taking further action

Would your students like to take further action on the issues they have learned about as part of the competition such as contacting a local politician or writing a letter to your local newspaper? If so, you can download our free take-action guides here to support your students to take further action.

The 2024 Competition

Emily Wall, a student at St Leo’s College, Carlow, was announced as the winner at the national finals, which were held in Dublin’s Royal Irish Academy in March.

Judges included journalist and broadcaster Philip Boucher-Hayes; Róisín Gallagher, Coordinator, Irish Consortium on Gender based violence; Writer and Advocate Deborah Oniah and Maria Riordan Education Officer Irish Aid, Department of Foreign Affairs.

This year students wrote speeches on the climate crisis, gender-based violence and unpaid care work. ActionAid received 112 entries from 20 schools across 12 counties. Emily was invited to take part in the regional finals, before going forward to the national final. For winning first place she received a €500 voucher and her teacher received a €100 voucher.

Karol Balfe, CEO of ActionAid Ireland said: “It was heartening to see so many students across the country take part in the competition this year and share their views on global issues so articulately and with such passion. The high standard and obvious passion made it very difficult to judge at every stage of the competition. Emily clearly researched the topic of gender-based violence at length, she developed strong arguments and then delivered the speech confidently. We are delighted to announce Emily as the winner of ActionTalks and she should be very proud.”

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