The first round of the Joutes Oratoires, the national French debating competition organised by the Alliance Française, took place on Monday evening and saw the St. Columba’s team of Nyla Jamieson (captain), Georg Müller-Methling, James Park and Sophie Wainwright propose the motion Il faudrait interdire les zoos (Zoos should be forbidden) against a team from Sandford Park School. The debate was heated with some very well-researched and well-constructed speeches delivered by both sides, along with some sharp rebuttals and counter-rebuttals, all through French. However, the impressive level of teamwork and comprehensive consideration of the motion saw St. Columba’s emerge victorious and proceed to the second round in November.

There was similar success in round one of the inter-schools Spanish debating competition, held is Castleknock College last week. The team was made up of Grace Goulding, Lucia Masding, Anna Laurenceau, Suji Franckel and Alexandra Murray Donaldson. The motion for their debate was “This house does not support independence for Cataluña” and they successfully supported the motion against a strong team from Mac Dara’s of Templeogue and they now move onto the next round after half term. A particular well done to Anna Laurenceau who won the award for best speaker.