Concern Debate 3 – Victory!

Social media improves our understanding of major world events!

Cool and Confident

Cool and Confident

A great performance by two teams last night made for a very enjoyable and nail-biting debate between St Mary’s Drogheda (hosting and proposing) and Gormanston (opposing). Both teams were well-researched and had good debating skills, but on the night the motion was defeated and Gormanston were delighted. Captain Eoin summed up and refuted very effectively in his closing speech. Drew presented clearly and passionately the lies and misinformation that can be spread by social media. Luke used powerful imagery and convincing facts to portray the difference between knowledge and understanding. Sean used clever analogies, indisputable statistics and the persuasive technique of carefully delivered repetition. They each did themselves proud.

Watch this space for more on the progress of the mighty TY debaters.

St Conleth’s Junior Mace Jan 2014

There is no stopping Maya, Kyle, Ciaran and Matthew! They never seem to have enough when it comes to Mace debating! Is the pressure of 20 min prep time, the liveliness of PoI’s, the possibility of being pitted against another Gormanston team or the lunchtime pizza feed that keeps them hooked?

A thrilling day was had by all on Sat 18th in St Conleth’s College Ballsbridge. There was a great atmosphere among the 100+ group of debaters and the four from Gormanston improved greatly as they progressed from one debate to the next. Well done to them all. And many thanks to the wonderful convenors (all students) at St Conleth’s.

Two Gormanston teams

Two Gormanston teams

Concern Debate 2 Jan 2014


The Team

The Team

Genetically modified food is essential in the fight against world hunger. What do you think? This was the motion the Gormanston TY debaters had to argue against in their January Concern debate. The proposition and hosts for the evening were Portmarnock Community School and a lovely evening was had. Fantastic speeches were delivered by Captain Eoin Gormley and speakers Sean Eoghan McLaughlin, Luke Carroll, Sean Landers. Their debating skills were second to none. Clear, confident, convincing are words that do not do them justice. On the night the motion was neither carried nor defeated, so the team graciously accepted a tie.

These young gentlemen have been debating at school for a couple of years now and their experience is really paying off. On top of all their skills and abilities, they are a group who always display enthusiasm and lovely manners. Best wishes to them as the competitions continue.

Ready to debate

Ready to debate

UCD Senior Mace Oct 2013

This house would deny free health care to those who are participate in their own illness (eg through smoking, alcohol etc.) This house would allow parents to vote for their children. Just two of the motions before the Gormanston TY debaters. With the motion only released fifteen minutes before the debate and that much time to prepare five minute speeches, the speakers are under a lot of pressure. But this proved to be no problem to Sean Landers, Luke Carroll, Stephen McGinley and Drew Keeley (with Ellen Meehan and Karl Hasenclever in attendance as spectators).

Getting Some Final Tips

Getting Some Final Tips

This house would ensure one female leader or deputy leader for every political party. This house would introduce conscription in war time. These were the round three and round 4 motions of the UCD Mace. Sean and Luke’s experience helped them sail through their rounds. Drew and Stephen showed great potential and natural talent; no doubt they will be hungry for more next time round. Overall, the two days were extremely exciting, challenging and rewarding. Everyone was in top form responding to the motions with great aplomb. At the end of four debates the Gormanston speakers were buzzing and somewhat tired. A visit to Burger King on the way home certainly revived their spirits.

The Motion for Round 2

The Motion for Round 3

Preparing for Round 4

Preparing for Round 4

A Team Bond

A Team Bond




Concern Debate 1


This is the motion for the first of the Concern Debates that are coming up in the next couple of weeks. TY students are working very hard on their speeches. We are proposing the motion and will be hosting the debate when Scoil Ui Mhuiri, Dunleer Co Louth come to visit. The date has still to be confirmed, but we hope it is sooner rather than later! Here are a few snapshots of the team and research assistants busy at work:





Best wishes to the team.


Belvedere Junior Mace

BelvedereOran, Pauric, Matthew, Kyle, Melanie and Maya had a very busy day on Saturday 5th October. From 9 am til 5 pm ish, they planned, and argued, and wrote and defended and attacked and rebutted in various manners and ways. Four debates were undertook by all in Belvedere with 80 teams taking part in the great event. Motions such as ‘That Irish Should be removed as A Compulsory Subject in Schools’ and ‘That this House would Ensure that 40% of T.D.’s are Women.’ show the range of topics that can be thrown in front of junior students with only 20 mins to prepare.

Mace Debates are lively, demanding, fun and excellent tests of thinking on one’s feet. Every student went home tired but satisfied with a very rewarding day’s work.

The next Junior mace will be after the mid-term break, and more information will be posted on that as soon as it is available.

A New Year with Plenty of Promise

The debating season is about to get going in full swing again.



Several juniors have already signed up for the first Mace Debate. On Saturday 5th of October Belvedere College will host another series of mace debates. Oran Cassidy, Pauric Leech, Matthew Morgan, Ciaran Dixon, Sean Briscoe, Alex Smith – all experienced debaters will take part. Melanie Lee – a novice – will come along and learn through observation. The best of luck to them all next Saturday.

On the senior front – the response has been overwhelming. Eager to take part in the mace and the Concern debates is a large number of TY’s – Sean Landers, Eoin Gormley, Philip Berrill, Luke Carroll, Sean Eoghan McLaughlin – all seasoned veterans – as well as newcomers Stephen McGinley, Freddie Tallon, Drew Keeley, Vicky Galvin, Ellen Meehan, Stephen Jordan, Cain Fogarty, Nick Campbell and Nick Smith. There’s also a healthy interest from 5th Years and the talented Duncan Walker – 6th Year.

Seniors should note in their diaries the following dates – UCD Mace – 11th and 12th October; TCD Mace 22nd and 23rd November. In addition, seniors should keep an eye on the Concern website as fixtures will be posted on Monday or Tuesday.

Loreto on the Green Junior Mace

Well done to four eager and able first years who took part in the Loreto on the Green Junior Mace on 13th April 2013. Pauric, Matthew, Miguel and Ciaran were superb. It was a challenging day but everyone had fun debating against juniors from around the country. The students had three debates each with only fifteen minutes to prepare five minute speeches. Motions included topics such as arming the Gardai, and not prosecuting those in poverty for theft. Lots of controversy was the result! Many thanks to the wonderful Loreto students who organised and managed the day so efficiently.

Have a look at the slideshow below to give you an idea as to how the day went.

Loreto on the Green Junior Mace by MissKRyan

Junior Mace Gonzaga

First and third years had a great day out at the Gonzaga Junior Mace. Lots of experienced and novice debaters took part in the day on Saturday 26th January. Well done to Pauric Leech, Matthew Flanagan and Ciaran Dixon who took part without any experience of this style of debating. As usual, Philip Berrill, Eoin Gormley, Richard Donnelly Devine were superb. The first years with experience were Sean Briscoe, Matthew Morgan and Dara McGrath. It is clear to see that their skills and confidence are growing from strength to strength. Also, sincere thanks to Orlaith Sheehan, TY, who took time out to join the junior debaters offering them tips and taking brilliant photos! Much appreciated.

Some of the challenging motions included thatthis house would allow governments to censor the internet,and this house would criminalise bullying. Tough topics indeed! Here is a short animoto slideshow that gives a small insight into what the day was like:

Many thanks to the students at Gonzaga College SJ for their great hospitality and hosting of the day!

Concern: Second Debate

Everybody ready to get started

This was the motion the TY students were preparing over the last few weeks. Gormanston hosted the debate as our students were proposing the motion. Their opponents were a super team from Swords – St Finian’s Community College.

On the day of the debate, Gormanston met with a minor hitch. One of our speakers was unable to turn up for the debate on the night. With a small feeling of panic, everyone did their best to find a replacement. At 1pm on the day of the debate, we called on a fifth year student who was one of our strongest TY debaters last year. He is such a star and true to form, he did not let us down. With only a few hours’ notice, Matthew Mollahan stepped in as captain of the debating team and effortlessly opened and closed the debate for the night. Saoirse Lynch, Ronan McGrathand Tristan Parker were tremendously grateful to Matthew as it allowed them to feel confident having a full team for the debate.

The debate was a great success for Gormanston. We won! Our four speakers were convincing, polished, calm and suitably challenging towards our opponents. To tell the truth, we had a double advantage – a fantastic team led by the brilliant Matthew, and the fact of facing a team who ironically were one speaker down – how lucky we were that it wasn’t us. Despite their handicap, St Finian’s were very impressive in their style and knowledge.

Nevertheless, Gormanston are delighted to have a victory under our belts.

Our wonderful team

Three TY’s and one 5th year was the perfect blend for success. Many thanks to Kate Brennan(5th Year) who undertook the role of chairperson extremely well and to Stephen Weir(TY) for his super time-keeping skills. Well done to all the debaters and particular and heartfelt thanks to Matthew who took us out of the woods and led us on the path to triumph.