Those who made it through the application process were introduced to the competition and given a history of the judicial system by former Jes student Thomás Keys. Barrister-at-Law.
Students were then presented with the cases. This year’s cases were concerned with murder and assault, with students having to prepare to defend and prosecute both cases. Regular practice sessions were held for several weeks as Mr. Reilly and a team of solicitors from RDJ Glynn guided students through the intricacies of the law as well as honing their presentation and argument skills. The help of last year’s Barristers, Alex Burke, Kayleigh Power and Eoghan Finn was an invaluable resource for this year’s team.
On Saturday 5th April we travelled to Dublin, ready to compete. The first team we encountered were St. Marys, Drogheda. They were well prepared and enthusiastic but a strong performance by the Jes defence was too much and we progressed with a healthy points difference. Our second opponents hailed form St Cuan’s College in Castleblakeney. Despite some pre-competition posturing by their star witness Colaiste Iognáid dispensed ruthlessly with the opposition. Evie Hayes and Amie Donnellan deserve special mention for a devastating and relentless performance as barristers.
In our third round we encountered Holy Family Secondary school from Newbridge Co. Kildare. Holy Family had won the competition in 2012 so we knew they had pedigree, having knocked them out of the semi-final last year we also knew they had a motive for revenge. The round was a battle of attrition with both sides exerting phenomenal pressure on witnesses, despite a composed and professional performance by the Jes, Holy Family got their revenge with a 41 to 39 point victory. The standard in the competition is so high that only a clean sweep of three rounds earns a place in the finals.
Dreams of retaining the title and jetting off to New York next October faded as deflated students and coaches trudged back to Heuston Station. For 2014 at least, the defence rests.
The team and staff at Colaiste Iognáid would like to acknowledge the generosity of RDJ Glynn solicitors who sponsored our entry and offered the expertise and services of Caoimhe Clancy, Stephanie Coughlan and Lisa Hyland in the weeks and months leading up to the competition. Their legal advice and coaching was vital in giving our team a competitive edge. We also wish to extend a sincere word of thanks to John Hogan, Barrister-at-Law, who gave our team an intensive feedback session in the Galway Court house on the eve of the competition. Special thanks must go to Mr. Reilly for his coaching work and for co-ordinating the team.
Jes TY Mock Trials Team 2014: Deirdre Coyne, Grace O Fegan, Sally Moran, Alanah Cunningham, Kate Ni Mhaolain, Caoimhe Darcy, Jack Counihan, Evie Hayes, Sorcha OConnor, Ross Gorey, Cian Hammillton, Amie Donnellan, Laura Feehan, Joe Haskett, Abigail Silke, Eimear O Reilly, Sarah Gibbons, David Glynn, Mary Byrne, Cliona Cantilon, Djuna ONeill, Yvonne Molly, Barra Convery.