A much pared down team of only nine pupils represented CCS in the qualifying heats of the 2018 National Mock Trial competition in the Criminal Courts of Justice on Saturday, 21st April. Every team had to prepare for three trials. CCS had to argue both sides of a case called the People v Pat Plaice, about an aptly named fast food restaurant and shop owner called Gabriel Codd who was allegedly robbed by the equally aptly named defendant, Pat Plaice. We were the defence team in our other case, the People v Francis Cara, the defendant being accused of petrol-bombing the home of his girlfriend's parents. All in a day's work for the CCS legal eagles!
Barristers were Odhrán Cavanagh, Éadaoin Doherty, Leah McEleney and Alysia Brattin-Loftus. All our barristers gave very good performances but there can be no objections to Odhrán Cavanagh being singled out, not alone for working all three trials but also for his superb aptitude in the art of rebuttal. Siofra Keane was Court Registrar and Tony Keyes and Ciara Houghton both played the role of Tipstaff. All were excellent! Dessie's lucky Boston Marathon bell enjoyed pride of place in front of the judge!
There was a lot of double-jobbing going on as is normal in this competition. Tony Keyes was in the witness box as Garda O'Reilly and in the main stuck to the script. Who knew that the Garda Training College has moved from Templemore to Donegal?! Deirdre Brennan is a formidable young lady with amazing stamina. Must be the cod liver oil capsules! Deirdre competed in the Junk Kouture competition the day before, got delayed for hours on the return journey and still got to court on time! Deirdre played the part of Billy Boyce, the intellectual type employee of Gabriel Codd. She also acted as solicitor, the eyes and ears of the barristers, as did Éadaoin and Leah. The not to be messed with Ciara Houghton very much held her own in the role of Pat Plaice. Marjorie Magoo aka the unflappable Siofra Keane had ice in her veins in the witness box and wriggled her way out of a tricky situation by telling the Court that she wears non-prescription spectacles! Francis Cara was played by the very credible Caitlin McGonigle who was unflinching in her testimony.
Well done to all the pupils who worked their socks off and won two out of their three cases! As always, a BIG thank you to Mr Dónal McGuinness BL for his time and advice on the eve of the competition.