2013 drew to a close for debaters with a packed AGM at Milano Restaurant to celebrate the several successes of the society over the previous twelve months. From Trinity to Cambridge, from Cork to Castlebar, the Coláiste Iognáid Debating Society once again dominated local and international debating.
Perhaps the highlight of this year was a new departure for the Jes: a National Junior Mace at the school. Organised by Eoghan Finn and Frank O’Neil, with support from Kayleigh Power, Patrick Higgins (auditor), Andrew Forde and Alec Burke, the event attracted over 60 young debaters from around Connacht. The final, chaired by Colm Keaveny TD and adjudicated by Jim Higgins MEP deemed a ‘Jes’ team (Ross Gorey and Jack Counihan) the winners and the top speaker of the day Kate Duggan. Six members of the ‘Jes’ junior debating team qualified at this event for the National Junior Final.
6th Years Rob Fitzgerald-Bellone and Andrew Forde ensured that the ‘Jes’ won the West of Ireland Senior Championship for the ninth year in succession and ensured our presence at the All-Ireland Senior Final in Trinity College where they were joined by 2nd Year Kate Duggan as an individual speaker.
Ross and Jack added to their Connacht glory by qualifying for the 2013 International Competition for Young Debaters in Cambridge and TY debater Eoghan Finn’s success in Dublin ensures that he goes on to represent Ireland in the European Youth Parliament congress next year.
1G (Imogen Silke, Adam Burke, Robert McInerney and Shane Halloran) beat 1X (Jim McCarthy, Emily Jane Cooke, Grace Kavanagh and Kate McSweeney) in the First Year Final with Emily Jane Cooke from 1X picking up the best speaker award. The staff (P.Kilraine, N. Sherry, M.Harrison and L. Parkinson) were soundly trounced by students (Robert Fitzgerald-Bellone, Andrew Forde, Laoise Dempsey and Patrick Higgins) where 310 students voted 297 in favour of the students.
Elyassa Hamza was elected auditor at the AGM in Milano Restaurant and replaces outgoing 6th Year, Patrick Higgins.
o Champions West of Ireland Senior Final (Rob and Andrew)
o Five finalists at West of Ireland Senior Final.
o Champion speaker Coláiste na hInse Junior Mace (Kate Duggan)
o EYP Irish representative (Eoghan Finn)
o ICYD Finalists (Ross Gorey and Jack Counihan)
o Champions Coláiste Iognáid Mace (Ross Gorey, Jack Counihan, Kate Duggan)
o Champion Connacht Debater at National Junior Mace 2013 (Kate Duggan)
o Participants in Easter Debate Workshops in UCD
o Finalists National Junior Mace (Ross Gorey, Jack Counihan, Kate Duggan, Barra Convery, Adam Burke, Philip Buckley)
o Finalists All-Ireland Senior Debate Championship (Robert Fitzgerald-Bellone, Andrew Forde, Kate Duggan)
o Competitors at: Belvedere Mace, St. Mary’s Mace, Loreto on the Green Mace, Wesley Mace, AIB Philspeaks,
o First Year Debate Champions: 1G
o Staff v Student debate: Students 297 votes, Staff 11 votes
o 31 after-school meetings over the year with average attendance of 30 members.
o AGM at Milano with 35 debaters.
The society thanks auditor Patrick Higgins for his work this year and his considerable commitment to debating at the school over his time here. The society also bids farewell to stalwarts Robert Fitzgerald-Bellone, Andrew Forde and Oisin Keogh and the new auditor for 2013/14, Elyassa Hamza welcomes all prospective speakers to next year’s first meeting in September.