Debating News

Harry Oke reports on the debating teams progress this term.
Debating and Public speaking was a highly developed part of extracurricular activities this term and it is really encouraging to see an increasing number of people getting stuck in and taking part in internal and external debating competitions. There have been multiple activities this year such as The Oxford School Debating workshop, European Youth Parliament, House Speeches, Junior Debates, House Debates and finally Concern Debates. This year we chose to take part in new debating competitions and activities such as the Oxford schools debates and the Concern debates. A group of students in 4th, 5th and 6th went for the Oxford schools debating workshop to learn more about a different competition and a completely different style of debating. This was an extremely eyeopening experience and we definitely hope to continue to take part in this competition. The European Youth Parliament was also a great experience. The House Speeches were also very interesting. This entailed a number of the transition year students speaking about topics they were interested in. For many it was very difficult to speak to a large crowd but, nevertheless, they were able to rise up to the challenge and it was a truly exceptional evening.
The major Debating events have been The Concern debates, Junior and House debates. The Concern Debates deals with humanitarian issues and increases awareness of world issues and encourages teenagers to be active members of society and to be a force for positive change. We have taken part in two rounds of these debates, We, unfortunately, lost one round to Tallaght community school on the topic TO END HUNGER, THE WORLD MUST EMBRACE GMOs. The school put forward a team consisting of Jack Stokes as the captain, Catherine Butt, Caoimhe Cleary and myself. It was a good experience but I believe we raised our standards and we faced the competent team put forward by Colaiste Eanna on the topic CHINA IS GOOD FOR AFRICA. We opposed the motion and our team consisted of an African and Chinese citizen which helped us greatly.
Finally, The Junior and House debates. It is extremely encouraging to see younger part of the school taking part in debating and public speaking. They have a lot of gifted speakers and have great potential. The Senior debates remain very important and every year brings a different set of people with so much to offer. Different people have come forward and showed us different angles to one topic and have successfully blurred the lines between right and wrong making the judges’ job very difficult. This year’s finalist has been organised based on a point system. They are Iona and Stackallan and have performed fantastically in the first two rounds. I wish them the very best of luck in the finals.  The debating opportunities do not end with this term and therefore, it is not too late to take part. Debating and Public speaking will always remain part of our Culture and I would especially like to thank Ms. Duggan for her unwavering work ethic and support for Debating and Public speaking in the College.
Junior Debating Team – for UCD Debates included: Raphaela Ihuoma, Ailbhe Matthews, Phoebe Grennell, Elise Williams, Eile ni Chianain, Maybelle Rainey, Charlotte Moffitt. Juniors involved in House Debates included: Tadhg Rane O’ Chianain, Florian Zitzman, Wolfgang Romanowski, Sadie Keogh, Emma Hinde, Caleb Swanepol, Solomon Babajide, Alannah Hassett& Matilda Pringle. Many of these are first formers and it is wonderful to see them sign up for debating in their first term in the College.
Senior Debating Team – this term included Harry Oke-Osanyintolu, Caoimhe Cleary, Catherine Butt, Georgia Keegan-Wignall, Jack Stokes with many more expected to join in the Hilary term.