Youngsters from Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa, Hollywood, finished as joint All-Ireland Champions in the national Credit Union Quiz finals last Sunday, April 1.
The team of Eoin Clarke, Robert Coyne, Finn Harney and Dubhaltach McSweeney were involved in a dramatic finish in the televised final, which was held in the RDS in Dublin.
The journey for the team began back in January with the team selected to represent the school in the local branch competition hosted by Blessington Credit Union. Here the four boys won the competition and progressed to the regional final in Toughers, Naas where they faced competition from schools in the surrounding counties of Kildare, Wicklow, Laois and Carlow. The team won this section by a substantial 7 points, thus qualifying for the prestigious All-Ireland final along with Kilcullen N.S. This was the very first time the school qualified for the All-Ireland final, and so spirits were very high and positive going into the event.
Last’s Sunday’s final was presented by television personality Marty Whelan. The questions ranged from identifying the number of spikes on the crown of the statue of Liberty to deciphering the letters HTTP to naming the Irish band member from the band One Direction.
At the half way point, of the 10 round competition, Scoil Chaoimhín Naofa lay in 3rd position and with three rounds to go, occupied the same spot. The last three rounds proved crucial however, as the team managed to move up to 2nd and then joint 1st position.
After 10 rounds, the team was joined by long time leaders St. Helen’s National School, Portmarnock on 50 points. In a dramatic evening, a tie breaker round was called and Marty Whelan proceeded to give each team 3 questions.
At the end of the tie breaker round, both teams were still equal on points. The President and Chief Adjudicator on the day conferred and it was decided that both teams be declared All-Ireland winners with no team deserving to lose.
he team collected their prizes and were joined by their teacher John Behan, who after a lot of mentoring and practice, was especially proud of the team’s achievement.
Parents and family members were present to revel in the superb triumph. The school received a generous cheque as well as a cup. The children each received a Silver Salver, a Sony Reader and National Certificates.
For the four boys, it was truly an excellent achievement and all agreed that the hard work had certainly paid off. For Blessington Credit Union, it also proved memorable, as it was the first time the branch have succeeded in claiming the All-Ireland title. Long standing branch supporters of the quiz movement including Con Flynn, Madge Tyrell and Breda Brophy were especially thrilled with the result.
For the school, it will go down as an achievement that will forever be remembered and certainly celebrated after the Easter holidays. Well done to all!