Dalriada School pupils travel to New York for Mock Trial championships

Pupils at Dalriada School are competing in the Bar Mock Trial World Championships in New York following their success in the Northern Ireland heat in November 2015 and UK Final triumph in April.

Dalriada School has made the World Final of the Bar Mock Trial Competition for a third time and remain the only school from Northern Ireland to ever compete at this level.

The championship, taking place from 10-15 November, will see local pupils face up against forty-nine teams from schools all over the world including Australia, USA, South Korea and Canada. As the US generally runs jury trials, there will be a panel of ten practising and retired attorneys who scrutinise their performance.

Susan Gregg, the teacher responsible for the Mock Trial participation and training, said: “The World Championships of Mock Trial allows pupils the opportunity to face the best Mock Trial teams from around the world. Our pupils have worked incredibly hard to get to this stage of the competition and are delighted to be able to represent both their school and country at this level.

“It has been a very busy and intense few months as we have prepared for the World Championships.

“On behalf of the team, I would like to thank Craig Dunford BL for taking the time to be at many of our rehearsals. The advice and support he has offered has been invaluable.”

Liam McCollum QC, chairman of the Bar of Northern Ireland
Liam McCollum QC, chairman of the Bar of Northern Ireland

Liam McCollum QC, chairman of the Bar of Northern Ireland, congratulated the pupils and Ms Gregg on their achievement.

Mr McCollum said: “We are delighted by the success of Dalriada School, their performance in the Northern Ireland and UK heats was phenomenal. Progressing to this level demonstrates tremendous commitment and skills from the pupils, their teacher and barrister mentors who sacrifice their evenings and weekends to practice and prepare. The Bar wishes them every success and we look forward to hearing of their victory in New York.”

The Bar Mock Trial Competition, held annually by the Bar of Northern Ireland and the Citizenship Foundation, involves student teams who prepare with volunteer barristers to take part in a mock trial. Their arguments are overseen by a high ranking member of the Judiciary who replicates the court proceedings of an official court case. The competition is renowned for helping students learn about the law and citizenship as well as advance their personal development, public speaking and teambuilding skills.