The first Amnesty International Talent Show at Salesian Secondary School, Fernbank in Limerick took place last week with the aim of raising both awareness and funds.
Special guest, the Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin, was impressed by the talent on the day and described the show as “spellbinding”.
He enthused: “It was fantastic, so much enthusiasm and to listen to the girls you’d imagine they were all professional. They were just unbelievable.”
The atmosphere at the talent show was electric with the students in the crowd providing great encouragement for all the contestants throughout the show.
The winner on the day was Sinead McNamara, aged 17. Sinead wowed the crowd and the judges with her flawless rendition of Cosmic Love by Florence and the Machine.
Another standout talent was first runner up Leah Melling, who at the tender age of only 14 is already writing and singing her own material. She performed her original song Saviour.
MC was SPIN South West radio personality Nessa Harney, with guest judges including The Voice of Ireland star Gari Deegan and SPIN South West presenter Ed Roche.
The members of Amnesty International, students and staff put in huge effort over the last three months to organise and plan the talent show.
Teacher Siobhan Conway said: “It makes them realise that there are other things in life besides academics and I think that’s important because not every student is brilliant academically. Students had an opportunity to show their strengths.”
Student Secretary of Amnesty International Salesians, Haley Ryan Blake, stressed that Amnesty International is very active in Salesians.
She said: “I’m very glad to be a member of Amnesty International in this school. I hope that what I have said today makes everyone understand why we put so much time and effort into this organisation.”
School Principal Sr Bridget O’Connell said: “We are showcasing our talent but at the same time the message underneath it is that we are reaching out to other people.
“We were delighted this afternoon that Sr Teresa Carroll, who initiated the group in the late 70s or early 80s, was here this afternoon to celebrate that the commitment to Amnesty is still alive and well in the school.”