Speakeasy Toastmasters celebrates twenty-five years

Pictured at Speakeasy Toastmasters 20th Anniversary Celebration were Jerry Mulcahy, President 2012-2013(far left), and previous presidents. Speakeasy will celebrate its twenty fifth anniversary on Friday, 2nd March.

Speakeasy Toastmasters will hold their twenty fifth anniversary celebration night in the Hibernian Hotel on Friday, 2nd March, at 8.00pm. We have decided to mark the occasion in the manner we know best – through speeches! It will be a night of ‘Reeling in the Years’ as we take a journey through some of the best speeches delivered at our club meetings down through the two and a half decades of our existence. There will be an omnibus collection of speeches that still resonate. Some will be speeches that won acclaim in contests in both Ireland and the UK, others that won popular acclaim within our club. Members, both past and present, will come together for a night of reflection, inspiration and humour. We encourage the public to join us on that night for what promises to be another Speakeasy Toastmasters special occasion.
In October 1992, a demonstration meeting took place in the Hibernian Hotel to lay the groundwork to establish  a Toastmasters club in North Cork. By March of the following year, Speakeasy Toastmasters was formed. Its first President was Joe O’Connor of Boherbue. Members came from all over the North Cork area – from Bweeng, Buttevant, Liscarroll, Doneraile and Mallow. Indeed, the large geographical spread of our membership base has been a huge strength down through the decades.
In the ensuing years, Speakeasy has achieved enormous success, both within the Toastmasters organisation and the greater community. Club members have won the District 71 (Ireland and the UK) Speaking Contests on five occasions, including Matt Lawlee and Michael Cronin in the Humorous Speech Contest. Several other members have also qualified for District Finals. But, above all else, club members have learned the art of confident communication and leadership skills.
Members of Speakeasy have also assumed leadership positions within the organisation, including Jeremiah Ronayne who served as District 71 Governor in 2003-2004. Speakeasy’s involvement in establishing other Toastmasters Clubs in the Munster area is also significant.
In November 2001, the club hosted the Speakeasy Blackwater Conference in Springfort Hall. Several hundred Toastmasters’ members from all over Ireland and Britain came together for a spectacular weekend of speech contests and entertainment. In Toastmasters circles, this Conference was hailed as one of the greatest ever.
Speakeasy members have also featured prominently in the Mallow Sports and Leisure Awards. Five members have won top awards, including Matt Lawlee, Jeremiah Ronayne, Michael Cronin and Mary Buckley.
Involvement in the community has always featured prominently in our activities. Jerry Mulcahy introduced a Toastmasters programme to the Cope Foundation in Mallow. Members provide public speaking classes in various schools in North Cork. Each year, we host a Schools’ Public Speaking Competition, which provides a wonderful opportunity to participating students to acquire communication skills.
It has been a richly rewarding twenty five years which we hope to celebrate in style on Friday, 2nd March. For those readers who have never attended our meetings, this is a great night to come along and join the celebrations.
In the meantime, meetings continue as usual. Our next meeting takes place in the Hibernian Hotel on Thursday next, 8th February at 8.00pm. You are more than welcome to come along and sample the entertainment. As always, guests will be able to enjoy the meeting without any obligation to speak, unless you wish to do so.
For more information about our club, please visit our website, speakeasytoastmasters.com or on Facebook. Alternatively, you can contact President Helsa Giles-083-885 8848.