Double-take for Marian College

Double-take for Marian College 1

Students from Ballsbridge’s Marian College took home top prize in this year’s Generation Euro Award, beating 260 other teams from secondary schools across the country.

The win is, remarkably, the second in a row for Marian, following their success in last year’s inaugural tournament.

The competition, for transition year students, is organised by the European Central Bank and participating national central banks across the Eurozone, including the Central Bank of Ireland. The aim is to help students gain a greater understanding of monetary policy and its relationship to the economy as a whole. Taking part gives students an insight into the role of a national central bank and an awareness of the Euro-system and the wider world of finance.
Students begin by taking an online quiz, consisting of 30 randomly selected questions. Those progressing must then submit a 2,000-word assignment using their knowledge of economic theory to explain the factors that affect price stability and the role of monetary policy measures.

The three teams who submit the most impressive assignments progress to the national final, held in the Central Bank of Ireland, where they must present a 20-minute Powerpoint presentation, followed by a 15-minute question and answer session.

Two hundred and thirty teams entered last year, the inaugural year of the competition, with two teams from Marian College reaching the final under the supervision of teachers Norah Martyn and David Goode, and transition year co-ordinator Chris Halligan. The winning team, EC Beavers (pictured) were pitted against schoolmates team Eurostars comprising team captain Adam Lane and students Daniel Horca and Aaron Heavey. So impressive were both performances, judges spent an hour and a half deliberating before making their decision.

The Governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, presented both the winners and runners-up with certificates. Ms. Martyn told NewsFour she felt “both Marian teams had set a very high standard for successive years of the competition.”

The winning team travelled to Frankfurt for three days in June 2012, where ECB President Mario Draghi presented them with certificates. All four members of the team have opted to study business for the Leaving Certificate.

This year, an extra 30 teams entered the competition, bringing the total to 261. Under the guidance of Martyn and student teacher Gavin Coleman, two teams from Marian progressed to the second round. Team Unagi (Dharen Clores, Killian Ryan, Craig Kellegher, Adam Kavanagh, and Dylan Johnston) narrowly missed making it to the final, but were commended by the Central Bank for their 2,000-word assignment. The college would again be represented in the final, held in April, by team Liquidity, led by team captain Luke Murphy and comprising students Cian Byrne, Shane Downes, Gary Smyth and Sean Scott.

Preparation for the final once again involved a lot of hard work from the students. As well as brushing up on their knowledge of economics, students worked with teachers to perfect their voice projection, communication, and timing. Mr. Halligan described the process as “like directing a play”.

Once again, a team from Marian College was announced national winner. As with last year, the team travelled to Frankfurt to receive certificates from Mario Draghi. Team captain Luke Murphy told NewsFour he would thoroughly recommend students take part next year. “It really improves your confidence,” the student told NewsFour.

“The participating students have acquired skills such as teamwork, presentation, IT and technical skills, as well as the hugely important area of public speaking,” Ms. Martyn told NewsFour. “They have also learnt that with hard work it is possible to reach one’s potential and even become the best in Ireland.”

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Pictured on left, left to right: Transition Year Co-ordinator Chris Halligan, Economics teachers Gavin Coleman and Norah Martyn, 2013 winning students Shane Downes, Sean Scott, Cian Byrne, Captain Luke Murphy, and Gary Smyth.
Below: 2012 winners EC Beavers: Renatas Nedzveckas, Jordan Billane, Captain James Bohan, and Matthew O’Connor.

By Eric Hillis