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.
Colaiste Dun IAscaigh student Kirsty Arbuckle reached the final of the Munster School’s Debating Final hosted by UCC’s Philosophical Society in Cork. Kirsty had to propose that: Assuming there is an afterlife upon dying, this house would choose to live in hell rather than in God’s heaven.
Kirsty took on the best young debaters in the country to win the prestigious Arthur Cox Munster School’s Debater title.
It is the largest non-sporting competition in Munster. It is for senior cycle students with an interest in debating. There were five rounds of debate which were held in UCC and Ul and a grand final which is always attended by a prominent Irish media personality. This year’s chairperson was former Minister, Mary O’ Rourke. Over 200 students took part in this year’s competition. Kirsty has been well supported by her friends in the debating society, five of whom reached the semi-final stage. Her fellow debaters, Kenneth Conlon, Kayleigh Bourke, Ceili Cowan, Mary Condon O’Connor and Sarah Coleman were unlucky not to progress. Kirsty has beaten debaters from Glenstal Abbey, Laurel Hill, Christian Brother’s College Cork and Rockwell College.
Kirsty is the second student from the Colaiste to reach the final in only the third year of entry.