Opportunities of Brexit the topic at regional Soapbox competition
Two Grammar School students picked up first and runners up prizes in the 2017 Soapbox competition at Sligo Central Library.
The winner of the under 19 competition was Ms Genevieve Cox with the runner-up Mr Aidan O'Reilly, both from Sligo Grammar School. The winner of the over 19 competition was Mr Kieran Timmons with the runner up Mr Robert McDaid.
The theme for this year's debate was a very relevant one with the uncertainties surrounding the makeup of the European Union as a whole - the UK has opted to leave the EU after having a referendum on the matter and more recently we have seen the province of Catalonia in Spain also holding elections on whether to remain within Spain - a current member of the EU - or not? As such this year's topic for debate was entitled 'Brexit - Irelands Opportunity'.
This competition is called a 'Soapbox' event as it isn't your standard debating platform where teams argue for or against the motion and then also have to have to counter arguments from the opposing side. In this competition they simply have to argue the topic as persuasively as possible within the 3 minute agreed time limit.
The EDIC and Library service is extremely happy to promote and run such an event as it ties in perfectly with our core objectives; public libraries do a great deal more than lend books. Reading and borrowing continue as major functions of all public libraries, but a lot more happens besides. Modern libraries are centres of cultural activity and engagement with heritage, the arts and the wider world of the imagination.
The Judging panel consisted of Mr Aidan Doyle - CEO of Sligo Chamber of commerce, Ms Lorraine Mc Donnell - business development manager with the Sligo Champion and Mr Eddie Mc Gurrin - longstanding member of Public Speakers Sligo Debating society.
A total of 25 speakers took to the soapbox and after careful deliberation the judges returned with the results. Both winners will now go forward to the national soapbox final which will take place in the Royal Kilmainham hospital, Dublin on Tuesday 7th November with the overall winner in each category receiving €1,000 and a weekend trip to Brussels to see the EU Parliament buildings.