For the past number of years Our Lady’s has upheld a strong debating tradition, competing in both Concern Debating and Munster Schools’ Debating competitions.Three years ago the Philosophical Society was founded by Ms Keane, Ms Talbot and Ms Butler, allowing students the opportunity to engage in lively debates about contemporary issues and classic idealisms. The Philosophical Society acts as a forum for students to prepare for the Munster School’s Debating Competition.

Munster Schools’ Debating 2015/2016

For the second year running Our Lady’s Secondary School has competed in the Munster Schools’ Debating Competition, hosted and adjudicated by UCC Philosophical Society. Following on from our Quarter Final exit last year students were eager to progress further in this years’ competition. Over the course of 4 nights students have debated on 11 separate motions, ranging from ‘This House Rejects The Valorisation of The 1916 Rising’ to debating the issues of Organ Donation, Social Welfare, Mass Domestic Surveillance, Academic Streaming, Zero Hour Contracts and the provision of Developmental Aid to Non Democracies. Students worked hard to research and write their speeches before being put through their paces by Ms Dooley and Ms Talbot.  

On the 25th of February 4 students, having progressed from the first two rounds travelled to University College Cork to compete in the Quarter Finals. Hannah Dooley, Andrea O’Rourke, Shannon Grant and Aoife Kennnedy contended against some very strong competition. Debating against teams from Glenstal Abbey, Ard Scoil Ris, Laurel Hill and Mount Mercy to name just a few. With great delight Aoife Kennedy qualified for the Semi Final. On the 7th of March we once again made the journey to Cork. With 21 schoolmates in the audience  Aoife was well supported and this was reflected in her  performance. Aoife faced a tough challenge, opposing the motion ‘This House Welcomes The End of American Interventionism’. Arguing that America’s involvement in foreign matters is always justified was never going to be a simple task, however, it was a challenge that Aoife took on with relish. The content and delivery of her speech was excellent and she was to be commended for her engagement with the other speakers during their speeches. It was a very lively debate, strongly argued by both proposition and opposition. Unfortunately it was not her night, with all finalists progressing from the proposition side. Both teachers and students were impressed with Aoife’s performance on the night and look forward to seeing her and others debating in this competition next year, with our sights firmly set on a place in the  Munster Final.