TCD Historical Soc takes team award
THE MOST prestigious college debating final in Ireland made a return visit to Limerick at the weekend.
The 49th Irish Times Debating final took place at the Kemmy Business School on the campus of the University of Limerick for the first time since 1993.
John Gallagher and Andrea Mulligan of Trinity College Dublin’s Historical Society won the team contest opposing the motion: This house believes the partition of Ireland should remain permanent.
Jeremy Kinsella of UCD’s Literary and Historical Society took the individual prize with David Hopkins of TCD Historical Society winning the individual runner-up title. Shane Farragher and Josephine Curry of TCD Historical Society claimed the runner-up team prize in the final which took place on Friday night.
The winners will travel to the US as guests of the National Parliamentary Debate Association where they will undertake a tour of some of the finest debating colleges in the States.
Dr Ed Walsh, founding president of the University of Limerick, chaired the event.
Dr Walsh congratulated the 12 speakers who made it to the final of the competition, which attracted 300 participants, and described the high standard of debating as an “encouraging sign” for the future of our country “at a time of great crisis”.
“They say education is a dialogue between the generations and what you are studying at college is just an excuse to permit the potential leaders of the next generation to get together and discuss what an awful mess their parents are making. I think there’s a fair amount of evidence that this is the case at present,” he said.
Team winner John Gallagher who opposed the motion claimed Britain’s economic involvement in the North had not been constructive for many years.
“Britain, in order to keep it quiet, has kept Northern Ireland on a life support and we don’t think this is good enough, it stifles innovations and it stifles creation,” he said.
Gallagher went on to say that an all-Ireland economy would make greater economic sense especially for those living in Border counties.
Jeremy Kinsella, who opposed the motion and took the best individual prize, described uniting Ireland as a “notional hang-together” said it was time we accepted that “this island’s destiny has two separate stories”.
“It is time we woke up and . . . we accept there are two states of diverse people on this island ,” he said. “There are 750,00 people living in the North of Ireland who are Ulster unionists or loyalists . . . To have a nation you have to have a unifying voice and something that binds us together,” he said.