Emma Quirke Wins All Ireland Debating Final

n a packed Áras Moyola in the National university of Ireland, Galway, Ireland’s best debaters came to debate the topical proposal that ‘This House Regrets The Valorisation of The Easter Rising’ The All Ireland brings together the best schools’ debaters in the country. All the Debaters in the final had either won or come runners up in their provincial heats. The roll call of previous winners is a highly impressive list that includes many well known political and legal figures who have put their debating skills to impressive use and to get to the final was highly remarkable.
As in the Munster Final, Emma Quirke was Tipperary’s sole representative. Schools from Cork, Dublin, Galway, Dublin and Co. Meath all had representatives. This was a very tough debate with people feeling very strongly about our own National history. There has been many highly emotional and vociferous debates about the merits and flaws of this auspicious occasion in Ireland’s history. The Debate was chaired by the recently elected Catherine Connolly T.D. who also serves as lord Mayor of Galway City.
One of the key skills in debating is to argue for or against a point you might personally disagree with. For experienced adults this can be difficult but for young people it is even more so. All personal feelings had to be put aside as Emma tore into the debate.
Emma’s two key points were that the Rising was doomed to fail because of the tactics of its leaders and that the Ireland it produce was stunted in its growth for a number of generations because of the after effects of it. Pointing to the high number of civilian and young casualties during the rising, Emma questioned how the leaders have been venerated. She also pointed to the domination of a conservative cohort after the rising and Ireland’s isolation after the rising.
The adjudication was obviously a gruelling affair for the judges. it must have been incredibly tough to separate twelve speakers of outstanding quality. The conclusion they came to favoured Emma who after over an hour of deliberation was announced as All Ireland champion debater. Emma Quirke was declared the winner to a roar of delight from her supporters and a look of shock from herself. This was a truly historic and magnificent victory. Emma was roundly congratulated by the Auditor of NUIG’s Literary and Debating society Emily Gleeson, by the chairperson Catherine Connolly T. D. , by her parents and friends and by her teachers Catriona Fennessy and John McCarthy as well as by Coláiste past pupil and NUIG’s own speaker of the year Dean Buckley.
​See the video of Emma’s winning speech here:

A part of this content requires acceptance of marketing cookies. Please accept marketing.