KILDANGAN National School pupil, Robert McGrath narrowly missed out on winning the Eason All Ireland Spelling Bee live on RTE 2FM last week.
The fifth class pupil showed great composure and spelling prowess to win the Leinster title on the Ryan Tubridy show, which was broadcast live from a school in Tallaght on Thursday June 16. His school mates made banners and his sister Laura was a sub on the team along with Aoife Cunningham.
Easons put his family up in the Radison Hotel overnight as he prepared for the final the next day, which was live in studio on Friday.
Robert represented Leinster in Ireland’s first national spelling competition against finalists from the other three provinces of Ireland with quizmaster Ryan Tubridy. The overall winner was Patrick Dorrain from Illistrin National School, Letterkenny. Robert, Amy O’Halloran, Scoil na Maighdine Mhuire, Co.Clare and Sean McNamara, Scoil Naisiunta a’Chorrian, Achill received runners-up medals. Robert’s father, Declan said the family were very proud of Robert.
“It was down to Robert and the boy from Letterkenny in the end. The last word he got was ‘xenophobia’ which was really tough. Then it was down to the other pupil to get it right. Fair play to him. Robert did really well. He was thrilled,” he said. His mum, Martina, and his brother, Rory were also on hand to cheer him on.
Speaking after the event, Ryan Tubridy, said “Wow that was so much fun! I was very happy with how the Spelling Bee turned out. With the awful mangling of the English language courtesy of texting, it’s really important to encourage the younger people to keep their brains well trained with a steady diet of books and words and hopefully an event like the one we ran will keep the flag flying for super spelling!”
The Eason Spelling Bee with Tubridy invited primary schools all over Ireland to take part in the ultimate spelling challenge. Twelve schools were selected from more than 500 entries to take part in regional heats in the four provinces earlier this week and the regional winner from each took part in today’s final at RTE.
David Field, Head of Marketing and Retail Development, Eason said “I would like to congratulate everyone on their fantastic achievement today. It was a really intense competition and it is wonderful to see such a high standard of spelling exists among Ireland’s young people.”