Student teams talk way into semi-final
JUST two years after it opening its doors, two teams from Bettystown secondary school, Coláiste na hInse, have qualified for the semi-final of the Junior Debating Competition.
This is is a well established competition run by UCD's Law Society for those students in their junior cycle. In recent years it has grown to become the largest debating competition of its kind in Europe – last year attracting around 320 competitors from close to a hundred schools.
After overcoming tough early draws, it was assumed that The Coláiste would find the quarter finals a step too far, in this their first year of competitive debating. Neil Saccardo and Mathew Castle found last year's winners, Loreto Foxrock, among the four teams that stood in their way of a semi-final spot.
After a difficult and intense debate during which The Coláiste students argued for the occupation of Haiti, the two students emerged victorious.
The judges noted that the students had already reached a high standard of intellectual thought and had perfected their charismatic delivery. After knocking out last year's victors, there is no one to fear in the semi-final draw.
The second of the quarter-finals saw Helena Geoghegan and Thomas Lynch debate on the motion that we should be legally forced to provide reasonable assistance to a person in danger. With Loreto St Stephen's Green and Belvedere College the favourites to progress, it was a great shock for the South Dublin private school elite to find that the winners were in fact the East Meath school, presently located in a coastal hotel.
With Wesley College, Gonzaga College, Mount Sackville and Rockbrook College already defeated, Coláiste na hInse are now the only school to have all of their teams still in the competition.
The semi-finals will take place on February 25th in UCD.