COLÁISTE Rís will be represented in the AllIreland Final of Gael Linn's Comórtas Díospóireachta Uí Chadhain for an unprecedented seventh year in a row by the school's junior Irish debating team.
They fought off stern opposition from schools from the Connemara Gaeltacht to reach the final, and cement the Dundalk school's standing as one of the nation's strongest schools in Irish debating. Having won this contest three times in the last 12 year's the Chapel Street school now sets its sights on bringing back Corn Uisne to Dundalk, last won in 2006.
But the night was not without its fair share of controversy and disappointment as the school's senior debaters were eliminated. The much fancied senior team, comprised of Daria Ní Fhaoláin, Leon Mac Thoirealaigh and Pádraig Ó Gallchóir, were opposing the motion go bhfuil dearcadh míréasunta ag na ceardcumann faoi láthair (that the outlook of the trade unions is unreasonable at the moment).
After a very strong and impressive performance it seemed certain that they would easily progress to the final. But to the amazement of the large attendance the judges gave the nod to teams from Dublin and Galway.
The school's junior team of Ceallaigh Nic Fhloinn, Micheál and Neasán Mac Suibhne were proposing the motion gur féidir le muintir na hÉireann a bheith bródúil as Louis Walsh (the Irish people can feel proud of Louis Walsh) and quickly set about putting the record straight on Ireland's most famous music promoter. Ceallaigh Níc Fhloinn opened her team's arguments by highlighting a tendency towards 'begrudgery' in Irish society today, where unfair criticism is preferred to due recognition.
Mícheal MacSuibhne concentrated on highlighting the achievements of Louis Walsh, while Neasán MacSuibhne completed the presentation by examining how Walsh has contributed to Ireland's success in the music industry.
The adjudicators were out for sometime and were impressed with the standard of the debate, worthy, they said, of the All-Ireland final itself. They will be joined in that final by archrivals Coláiste Eoin, Booterstown and two teams from the Munster region.
This is Coláiste Rís' seventh successive appearance in the AllIreland final, a record no other school in the country can boast of. Seán Ó Coigligh, team mentor, was obviously delighted with this latest success but understandably hugely disappointed with the judges' decision in the senior debate.
The final will be held at the end of January next.