MACE Debating Review and Preview

On Saturday, November 8th, three teams from first to third year participated in the Leinster round of the Junior MACE Debating Competition in Castleknock College.

Mace debating or British Parliamentary debating is the most recognised international type of debating with both the European and World Championship being held in this format. Students compete in teams of two either in proposition or opposition of motions on topics ranging from reintroducing the death penalty to linking development aid to a country’s human rights record. Competitors have twenty minutes without coaches or teachers to prepare and then speak on the topic for four minutes, accepting points of information during their speeches and offering them from the floor.

Students need to be able to think at a very high level, have a vast general knowledge, be able to put forward concise and logical arguments while at the same time allowing their ideas to evolve and adapt to the debate that is happening and engage with all the arguments being put forward. Style and engagement of the audience are very important and the speakers quickly learn that the rhetoric and the way they put forward their ideas are just as important as the ideas themselves.

Congratulations to Brion Mc Ardle, Ronan Gallagher, John Campbell, Rory O’Hare, Conor Brady and Conall Mc Hugh, who performed very well on the day and will now participate in the Ulster final to be held in Saint Louis Girls’ School on January 24th, 2015.

Thank you to Ms. S Colreavy who promotes debating in the school and to Mrs F Gallagher who travelled with them on the day.