Students from Trinity College Dublin and the Solicitors' Apprentice Debating Society of Ireland (Sadsi) have progressed through to the Irish Times Debate final.
Pierce Lyons of Sadsi claimed the top individual speaker's spot in Thursday evening's semi-final, while Trinity's independent team of Caomhín Hamill and Sinziana Stanciu won the team competition.
The final of Ireland’s longest-running, third-level debating competition is due to take place at UCC next month.
Contestants in the semi-final included students from King's Inns, Maynooth University and UCD. They debated the motion that "This house believes that Ireland has failed its elders".
Reasoning and rebuttals
Speakers were assessed across a range of competencies including the reasoning used, the examples and rebuttals offered, and how well arguments were made.
Judging panel chair Hugh Guidera praised what he described as an enjoyable and impassioned debate.
“It was exactly what we wanted from an Irish Times Debate – a great mix of some highly amusing speeches, some highly impassioned speeches. Everyone had that bit of rhetorical flair,” he said.
At Tuesday's semi-final earlier this week, the winners to progress to the final included individual speaker Olcan McSparron of Queen's University Belfast and team members Aisling Rooney and Martha McKinney Perry of TCD. The remaining semi-finals are due to take place next week.
Speakers in the final will compete for the Demosthenes trophy for best team, and the Christina Murphy memorial trophy for best individual.