While most students were enjoying the Easter holidays, the T.Y students of Greenhills were busy preparing for the Mock trials, which took place on Saturday 25th of April. Greenhills are no strangers to this prestigious competition, having won the overall competition in 2005. The competition is a yearly event and a very important one at that.
The barristers were Aoife Downes and Emily Walker and this year`s solicitor was Katie Casey. Witnesses included Tara Gallagher, Jessica Taggart, Theresa McKenna and Aine Carolan. Jessica Reilly took the role of T.V reporter and Dearbhaill Kerr was Tipstaff and Registrar. Jennifer Sheard wrote as newspaper reporter and also on the team were Elizabeth McConnon as court artist and Michaela Stowe our photographer. Members of the jury included: Leah Rossiter, Claire Fallon, Nicole Vaughey, Lisa Carry, Natalie Leddy , Leah Shilton, Katie Matthews, Shannon Clarke, Edel Maher, Hollie Tremarco, Laura Hoey and Niamhín O`Dowd.
In the first round the girls defended their client Ms. Frankie Huntington (played by Jessica Taggart), on charges of murder against St. Angela`s, Co. Cork. The jury found in favour of Greenhills, declaring the defendant not guilty. The judge awarded more marks to Our Lady`s meaning that they won the case for the defence not only according to the jury verdict but also in the eyes of the judge.
In the second round the girls played Blackrock College and this time their client was accused of ‘assault causing actually bodily harm’. Yet again their client walked free.
In the third round Greenhills prosecuted St. Leo’s of Carlow for murder. This proved to be a tough round as St. Leo’s were last year’s winners but Greenhills managed to get yet another overall win, with a jury finding the accused guilty of murder. The students were now one of only four teams that remained unbeaten out of the original twenty eight schools and had now secured their place in the semi-finals.
On the following Saturday 2nd of May, Our Lady’s returned to the Four Courts to defend their client for the second time on charges of Murder against ‘Holy Faith’, Newbridge. The Jury returned a ‘not guilty’ verdict in this trial, with witnesses Jessica Taggart and Tara Gallagher giving an Oscar winning performance. Judge Petria McDonnell, Judge Victor Blake and Mr. Justice John Mc Menamin awarded the win to Our Lady`s.
The girls had now successfully made the All Ireland Final and prepared to prosecute Frankie Huntington, (this time played by a student from St. Conleth`s) for the murder of his wife.
On the bench sat Mr. Justice Peter Kelly, Judge Mary Collins and Mr. Justice Michael Peart. The silence was palpable as Aoife Downes began her opening speech for the prosecution. Witnesses were examined and re-examined with Garda Brown (Aine Carolan) and Mrs. Samantha Black (Theresa McKenna) giving convincing testimonies which all pointed to Frankie Huntington as the murderer.
Despite Frankie`s repeated denials, he failed to convince the jury and they returned a unanimous guilty verdict. Mr. Justice Peter Kelly sentenced Frankie to twenty five years in prison.
Judges Mary Collins, Mr. Justice Michael Peart and Mr. Justice Peter Kelly now gave their final deliberations and declared Our Lady`s College winners of the 2009 National Mock Trials. The supporters from Our Lady`s were now in fine spirits, but there was yet more drama to unfold.
Emily Walker was declared the winner of the Harry Hill Cup for her sterling performance and then came the icing on the cake. Our Lady`s would travel to the USA in October to represent Ireland at the Mock Trials in New York!
We would like to thank Ms. Ni Shè, Mr. Lyons and Ms. Hanratty for all their dedication and hard work. We also wish to send our warmest thanks and appreciation to our own past pupil Irene Sands. Ms. Sands is a deviling barrister in the Four Courts. Without Irene we would not have achieved such lofty heights.