A lively first round heat of the Gael Linn debating competition, Comórtas an Phiarsaigh, took place in the Presentation Secondary on Monday, 26 November last.
In the junior section of the competition, the motion that afternoon was ‘Ba cheart bata agus bothar a thabhairt do Trappatoni!’ (Trappatoni should be sent packing!) and many arguments for and against it were put forward.
Teams from Tipperary schools, Loreto Secondary School, Clonmel, Cistercian College, Roscrea and the Ursuline Secondary School, Thurles, along with the home team, Presentation Secondary School, participated in the debate. The skilfull presentation by the Presentation, Thurles speakers (Caoimhe Ní Dhubhda, Róisín Ní Riain, Áine Ní Aimhirgín) and Clonmel girls (Sionainn Ní Chéitinn, Ciara Ní Lochlainn, Eimear Ní Dhonnchú), won over the adjudicators in their favour, and they were declared winners on the night.
Later on in the evening, the senior teams from the same schools debated the topical motion ‘Tá sé ceart go mbeadh cead ag Seanadóirí agus ag Teachtaí Dála a rogha éadaí a chaitheamh i dTithe an Oireachtai !’ It’s right that Senators and TDs are allowed to wear whatever clothes they like in the Houses of the Oireachtas !).
A very high standard of debating was achieved by all the participants, but past experience of the competition, however, stood to the Ursuline, Thurles ( Jenny Kelly, Aisling Ní Riain, Laura Ní Chonghaile) and Cistercian College, Roscrea (Cian Ó hAinmhuighe, Aongus de Báicéir, Cillian Ó Buachalla) teams, and ensured their qualification to the next round.
The young orators from the successful schools, along with their hardworking and enthusiastic teachers, look forward now to the challenge of the next debate, which will take place after the Christmas holidays.
This national competition has been organised by Gael Linn since 1960 and over 150 teams from second-level schools nationwide are participating this year. Organiser Jamie Ó Tuama, Gael Linn, commented: “Gael Linn has always stressed the importance of spoken Irish. We welcome the fact that increasing numbers are taking part in the Gael Linn debates. The skills honed in debates will assist students in achieving the 50% of Irish marks in State examinations which are now being awarded for communication skills”.