Archive for the ‘COMPETITIVE DEBATING’ Category

The ‘Maggies’ Grand Final…

April 15, 2009

The Phil’s largest internal debating competition, the satirically-named Margaret Thatcher Memorial, reached its climax on the Thursday the 23rd of April, when the grand final was held in the Chamber. The competition had run throughout the year, with thrice-weekly rounds taking place since January. Over 30 individual competitive rounds,  more experienced orators and novice speakers alike clashed over a number of issues. The grand final, on the topic of whether it is ever legitimate for a government to lie to its people during war, pitted the four best teams in the competition against each other. The team of Huw Duffy and Catherine Murphy eventually won the competition and were awarded the Maggies Sword. They beat off stiff competition from Anthony McDonnell and Chris Benedik, Harry McEvansoneya and Brendan Curran (Secretary), and Niall Sherry and Niamh ni Mhaoileoin. Harry was named as the best speaker in the final. Congratulations to all competitors, and to MCs Sinead Waldron and Conor Sullivan for running the competition.


The National Maidens Debating Competition…

April 3, 2009

National Maidens is the biggest novice debating competition in Ireland, where first years from all major institutions compete individually. Its location rotates each year, so every university in Ireland has a chance to host the contest. This year it came to Trinity, where it was co-hosted by the Phil and our friends in the Hist, and took place on Friday the 2nd and Saturday the 3rd of April. The Phil’s freshers performed strongly, with Andrew Linn and Shauna Maguire both reaching the semi-finals. Ultimately, the final – on the topic of microchipping individuals at birth – was won by Dearbhla O’Gorman from UCD’s Literary and Historical Society, with the runner-up prize going to UCC Philosoph’s John Beechinor. The competition was of a very high standard, and all speakers are to be congratulated!

Success for The Phil at the DCU IV…

March 27, 2009

The DCU Open took place on the 27th and 28th of March, and the Phil performed strongly. Ruth Faller (ex-President) reached the final of the competition as part of a composite team, ultimately losing on a very tight split decision. In the interests of speaker development, most of the Phil’s more experienced debaters spoke with novices from the society, helping them learn more about debating. This was the last intervarsity of the year, marking the end of what has been a hugely successful year for our competitive debating. Congratulations to all of the Phil’s speakers!

Victory for The Phil at the Limerick IV…

March 7, 2009

The Phil is proud to announce victory at the Limerick IV, which took place on the 7th and 8th of March. The team of Kiera Healy (Registrar) and Edward Gaffney (ex-Secretary) won the competition, defeating world-class speakers in the final debate on the topic of Israel and Palestine, with Kiera also being awarded the prize for best speaker in the final. This marks the Phil’s first victory at an intervarsity competition in recent years, and combined with our performances at Oxford, Cambridge and the World Debating Championships, makes this the most successful year ever for competitive debating in the society! Congratulations are also due to the teams of Brian O’Beirne (ex-Registrar) and Shauna Maguire, and Jonathan Wyse (Debates Convenor) and Andrew Linn, both of whom reached the semi-finals.

The Mahaffy’s Memorial Debating Competition…

February 18, 2009

The annual JP Mahaffy Memorial Debating Competition, a one-day contest for novice speakers, took place on February the 18th. Eight of the top fresher teams in Trinity College competed for the prestigious trophy, with rounds taking place during the day before a grand final in the Chamber. In the final, the teams of Eoin O’Liathain and Alannah nic Phaidin, Ciaran Parkin and Chris Benedik, Shauna Maguire and Sam Mealy, and Anthony McDonald and Kate Oliver, faced off on the motion “TTH would punish people who transmitted HIV”, with Shauna and Sam eventually emerging victorious, and Ciaran being named as Best Speaker in the Final.

Congratulations to the winners, and to all the participants!

Sucess for The Phil at the Galway IV…

February 14, 2009

The Irish National Law Debates took place in Galway the weekend of the 13th and the 14th of February, with Phil speakers giving several strong performances. Four former or current officers of the society did so with their respective teammates. Registrar Kiera Healy and ex-President Ruth Faller were both knocked out in the semi-finals, while Debates Convenor Jonathan Wyse and ex-Secretary Edward Gaffney reached the final of the competition, doing the society proud with excellent speeches on a topical motion about the invitation of Holocaust deniers such as David Irving to universities. In addition to these successes, Ruth Faller was named as the second best speaker on the tab, missing the top spot by a single speaker point!

The society would like to congratulate all speakers on their achievements.

The Trinity IV 2009…

January 24, 2009


The 2009 Claire Stewart Trinity IV took place on the 23rd and 24th of January. The convenors of the competition were the Phil’s Debate Convenor, Mr Jonathan Wyse and the Hist’s Debate Convenor, Mr Niall Sherry. The competition was CAd by Mr Luke Ryder (twice runner-up of the Irish Mace, Finalist at the 2008 Cork IV and runner up of the Irish Times and ex-Registrar of The Phil) and Mr Ross McGuire (winner of the Irish Mace, Worlds Masters winner and euros semi-finalist). Friends and competitors piled into the GMB for two days of intest oratory and intense celebrations.

The motion “This house would adopt constitutional dictatorship over democracy”, and the four teams who competed in the final were:

Opening Government: NUI Galway Literary and Debating Society

Sean Butler and Conor Kelly

Opening Opposition: Macquarie University 

Felicity Wilson and Tom Hoskins

Closing Government: UCD Literary and Historical Society

Ian Hastings and Conor McAndrew

Closing Opposition: UCD Literary and Historical Society 

Julia Lawlor and Rebecca McGrath

The final was won by Closing Opposition, Julia Lawlor and Rebecca McGrath of the UCD Literary and Historical Society. The best speaker in the final was Tom Hoskins of Macquarie University.

The team and speaker tabs for the Dean Swift IV are attached. Individuals who desire the tab in different format should contact either of the convenors. Will Jones of the Oxford Union was awarded best speaker on the traditional speaker tab. Hugh Burns of the Irish Worlds Schools Team was awarded best speaker on the adjusted speaker tab, in which speaker points for each round were reduced in accordance with the number of years experience debating enjoyed by that speaker.



The Kingsmill-Moore Invitational…

January 22, 2009

It is our great pleasure to announce the results of the Kingsmill-Moore Invitational. The Invitational is a one day debating competition for sixteen elite teams, that is run before the Trinity IV on Friday and the Saturday.

The teams who contested the final of the Kingsmill-Moore Invitational were:
Opening Government: Will Jones and Rhydian Morgan
Opening Opposition: Shane Farragher and Josephine Curry
Closing Government: Luke Ryder and Emily Ravenscroft
Closing Opposition: Stephen Boyle and Gregg O’Neill

The motion was “THW allow individuals to opt out of the benefits and responsibilities of the state-citizen relationship”. The final was won by Closing Government, Luke Ryder and Emily Ravenscroft.

The best speaker in the final was Will Jones.

Phil success at World Debating Championships…

January 4, 2009


This year’s World Universities Debating Championship took place from the 26th of December to the 4th of January, and was hosted by University College Cork’s Philosophical and Law Societies. Over 300 teams from six continents descended on Cork for the intense competition. The Phil was well-represented, with three society teams attending: Ruth Faller (ex-President) and Kiera Healy (Registrar), Jonathan Wyse (Debates Convenor) and Brian O’Beirne (ex-Registrar), and novice speakers Andrew Linn and Shauna Maguire.

In an impressive feat, Ruth and Kiera were named the ninth best team in the competition – the highest place for any Irish team participating – and broke to the knock-out stages of the tournament. They proceeded through their octo-final, but were unfortunately knocked out in the quarter-final, and the Oxford Union team of Will Jones and James Dray went on to win the competition. This is the first time that any Trinity team has broken at Worlds since 2005, and we would like to congratulate Ruth and Kiera on a monumental achievement.

The best TCD speaker on the tab was Kiera Healy, who came 27th out of 624 speakers.

The 2008 Maidens’ Debating Grand Final…

November 27, 2008

The Maidens' Final

The culmination of Trinity College’s most prestigious novice debaters’ contest, the Eamonn O’Coine Memorial Maiden Speakers’ Competition, took place on the 27th of November 2008. Over a hundred competitors had been whittled down to eight finalists debating the motion ‘That This House Would Give Harsher Punishments to Celebrity Criminals’. The finalists, Sam Mealy, Andrea Waitz, David Barrett, Rens van Rijn, Eoin O’Liathain, Shauna Maguire, Andrew Linn and Alannah NicPhaidin, provided the gathered crowd with a debate of a remarkably high standard. After a close adjudication, Eoin was declared to be this year’s champion, with Shauna taking second place and Rens third.

We would like to congratulate Eoin, Shauna and Rens, along with all the participants in what has been a hugely successfully Maidens competition.