Ms Duggan commented on how these young people are the ones right now 're-making' and 're-imagining Ireland', a new Ireland in which they may have had over 10 jobs in their early adulthood, and in which thinking and communicating skills will be even more important, skills which are fostered at the College. The English Department here encourages them to be ambitious, to be creative, to try out things. In Transition Year here they have the opportunities to following their curiosity and grow in confidence. In the words of Hannah Arendt,
“Education is the point at which we decide whether we love the world enough to assume responsibility for it, and by the same token save it from that ruin which except for renewal, except for the coming of the new and the young, would be inevitable. And education, too, is where we decide whether we love our children enough not to expel them from our world and leave them to their own devices, nor to strike from their hands their chance of undertaking something new, something unforeseen by us, but to prepare them in advance for the task of renewing a common world.”
She went on then to comment on the work of readers Seyilogo Braithwaite, whose essay on 'European standards of beauty' showed her strong ability to communicate and to analyse the impact of the media on young people; Alex Malone, whose personal piece on early childhood memories showed how indelibly these mark young people; Luis Diaz-Pines Cort, who showed in his essay on the importance of rugby and convincingly made the case for sport teaching life skills; Ciara Dempsey, with her evocative and imaginative short story 'Villains'; Ella Ejase-Tobrise, a very capable speaker who evoked the sights and smells of a Nigerian childhood; Blanaid Sheeran, whose recollection of her grandfather was finely-crafted; Aniko Szekendy's forensic description of her own bedroom as seen from the perspective of a stranger; Robyn Brady's well-written piece about the oldest person she knows; and finally, appropriately, 'The Final' by Max Hillery, a dramatic recreation of the 2013 All-Ireland hurling final replay between Cork and his county, Clare.
Finally, Ms Duggan announced the Premier Award winners for this academic year: Douglas Boyd Crotty, Robyn Brady, Seyilogo Braithwaite, Ciara Dempsey, Ella Ejase-Tobrise, Antonia Mortsch, Blanaid Sheeran, Aniko Szekendy.