Monday 22 October 2018 03:06:09 AM

Local Pupils Star As Voice Box Finalists
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Local pupils reached the final of the Voice Box Awards on Monday to impress the judges with an animated account of their favourite jokes.

Erin Donaghey from St Macartan’s Primary School in Loughinisland, Leah McCarthy from St Patrick’s from Ballygalget and Ethan Stevenson from Cedar Integrated Primary School were among the finalists. Erin gave a lively rendition of her favourite joke.

Erin Donaghey from St Macartan’s Primary School in Loughinisland  receives her certificate from RCSLT NI Country Representative Anne Gamble (L) and Head of RCSLT Northern Ireland Office Alison McCullough MBE (R) for reaching the Voice Box Awards final.

Who has green hair and likes to eat porridge?


Twenty budding comedians were shortlisted for the grand final of the Voice Box Awards at Belfast City Hall to raise awareness of the importance of good communication skills.

The Voice Box Awards is a school joke-telling contest run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) to highlight the crucial role that speech and language development plays in school life, in a fun and engaging way.

Approximately seven per cent of children in Northern Ireland (or two children in every class of thirty) start school with a developmental language disorder, and a further 2.34% of children start school with a language disorder linked to or co-occurring with another condition such as learning disability, cerebral palsy, and autism spectrum disorder. In areas of social deprivation, speech and language difficulties can occur in above 50% of children.

Ethan Stevenson from the Cedar Integrated Primary School receives his certificate.

Over 3,500 competitors, many of whom have never needed a speech and language therapist, have already participated in local heats. The 20 funniest pupils were selected to compete in the live grand final on Monday 5 June 2017.

Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Nuala McAllister said: “It was great to hear the best jokes that the pupils have to offer. It’s a privilege to host this prestigious event at Belfast City Hall because good communication skills are such a fundamental aspect of a councillor’s role in public life.

“As I embark on my year as Lord Mayor of Belfast, I want to ensure that our city is inclusive to all, including those with a communication disability. As councillors we have a responsibility to ensure we foster communities which are accessible to all our citizens and this includes providing inclusive communication environments.”

Leah McCarthy from St Patrick’s Primary School in Ballygalget receives her certificate.

Alison McCullough MBE, Head of RCLST Northern Ireland Office said:“This is the fifth Voice Box final, and each year we have been delighted as the numbers of schools, families and speech and language therapists, getting involved, has increased. This event provides an exciting opportunity to engage with elected representatives and promote the importance of speech and language activities within school.

“We are also working with politicians, policy makers and other partners to make society more aware of the impact that a communication difficulty can make to educational attainment, employment and mental health and wellbeing.”

Finalists were chosen from primary and post primary schools from across Northern Ireland.

Ella Mack from Ballymoney Model (P2) won the Primary category with her Elsa joke:

Why is Elsa not allowed to hold a balloon? 

Because she will let it gooooooooo!

Emily Fryers from Tor Bank School won the Post-Primary award for her joke:

.Why do the French eat snails?  They don’t like fast food!

To win the top prize, Odhran had to impress the Voice Box panel of judges, Anne Gamble, Country representative RCSLT; June Wilkinson, Head of Children and Young People’s Strategy Team, Department of Education; and St Mary’s college pupil Molly Bradley, who has a cochlear implant.

Learn more about the speech and language therapy profession by visiting: 

Name AgeYearSchoolJokes
JessicaCarson10P6Moneyrea PSBetsy the talking sheepdog gets all the sheep into the pen and reports back to the farmer,


“All 40 accounted for Farmer Brown”


“But I only have 36 sheep” says the farmer


“I know” says the sheepdog “but I just rounded them up!”

ErinDonaghey9P5St Macartan’s PSWho has green hair and likes to eat porridge?


LouiseEccles10P6Mitchell House SchoolWhat do you call a fly with no wings?  A Walk!
JaneFinnegan9P6cSt BernardsA man walks into a pub with his giraffe and the giraffe lays down on the floor.


Barman: “Ya can’t leave that lyin’ there! “


Man: “ It’s not a lion, it’s a giraffe”

PhilipFusco9P5Killard HouseWhere do bees go to the bathroom?


At the BP station

FearghalKearney8P5St Johns PSIf you are playing hide and seek in a hospital what place do you not want to hide in? …. The ICU!


SteffanLloyd Evans11P7Holy FamilyMother is waking son:

“Peter, come wake up you have to go to school”

“Aw mum, just a bit more sleep please?”

“No, it’s really high time, now get up!”

“But I don’t want to. The children annoy me and the teachers are a complete pain!”

“Stop it, now get up and off to school with you”

“Mum, give me two good reasons why I should go to the stupid school?”

“Peter, first of all you’re 45, and second you’re the headmaster!!”

CurtisLogue9P6Seaview PSLast Christmas I gave you my heart and the very next day … you sold it on ebay!




Model CIPS

Why is Elsa not allowed to hold a balloon?


Because she will let it gooooooooo!


LeahMcCarthy9P5St Patrick’s



One day 3 boys were in the wood, one called Trouble one called Manners and one called Be Quiet.  Trouble got lost so Manners and Be Quiet went to the police station.


Manners waited outside whilst Be Quiet went in.

“What’s your name?” asked the policeman

“Be Quiet” he replied

“What ..Be Quiet……where’s your Manners?” the policeman asked


“Outside waiting for me”


“Are you looking for trouble?”


“Yeah how’d you know?”


OdhranMorris7P3Knockmore PSWhat’s tall, lives in the middle of Paris and wobbles?


I don’t know what is tall, lives in the middle of Paris and wobbles?


The Trifle Tower!


RoxyMullan7P4Limavady Central PSWhy can’t you hear a pterodactyl in the toilet?


Because the ‘p’ is silent


EthanStevenson11P7Cedar Integrated PSWhat did the policeman say to his tummy?


“You’re under a vest!”


HenriBerry118Killard HouseWhy did the math book look so sad?  Because it had so many problems!
EmilyFryers176th formTor Bank SchoolWhy do the French eat snails?  They don’t like fast food!
RobbieKelly13Yr 9St Joseph’s BHSWhat do you call an Irish bouncer?  Liam Malone!!
JamiePierson1416Ceara Special SchoolWhy does a cow go to the cinema?


Because she wanted to see a Moovie!

DarrylPye14 10Fleming FultonWhat is the difference between a school teacher and a train?

The teacher says “spit spit spit your gum out”

and the train says

“chew chew chew”

NatashaRoss15S1Glenveagh SchoolWhat do you call a bear with no teeth?

A Gummy Bear

ReubenWaters13Yr 9BeechlawnWhy did the M&M go to college?   …  he wanted to be a smartie!