DGS progress in Leinster Debating Competiton

Tuesday 14th October 2014 saw DGS send eight speakers to Trinity College Dublin for Round One of the Denny Leinster Schools’ Debating Competition.


“The Leinsters” is a long established and prestigious senior tournament, jointly run by the third level students of Trinity’s Historical Society (HIST) and UCD’s Literary and Historical Society (L&H), and has seen some of the country’s finest orators participating over the decades.

The DGS party included speakers Oisín Duff, Killian Byrne, Zoe Hallahan, Olivia O’Brien, Teofil Camarasu, James McQuade, James Ellis and Reni Ibikunle, who were accompanied by a small number of supporters along with Debating Coordinator Mr Farrar and Ms Rudoll on the evening’s trip.

Trinity can be an intimidating place and, on arrival at the Graduates Memorial Building, there was a palpable excitement and a real buzz as speakers from throughout the province all carried out final preparations in their own ways. Some students rehearsed in front of teachers and teammates; our own James McQuade found an empty corner provided all the feedback he needed as he put his speech through its paces. In the lobby, the group bumped into DGS past-pupil and HIST member Joseph Molloy who was very supportive and helped put everyone at ease.

The debates were called slightly later than the 18:30 billing time and the speakers were then led to their respective debating chambers and tutorial rooms.

Round One can in effect serve as a blooding phase of the competition – a levelling ground where all new speakers get a taste of what’s required as well as building valuable experience of honing their skills in a competitive environment. Our students performed exceptionally well with high praise coming in from judges and indeed some other teachers and students, along with some thoughtful and useful advice.

All of our speakers advanced in the competition, with seven moving onto Round 1.2. Reni Ibikunle performed exceptionally well on the night and was chosen to progress directly to Round Two outright as an individual speaker next January. It’s an outstanding achievement, particularly for a Transition Year student of only fourteen years, who debated competitively for the first time on Tuesday!

The group made a brief stop for some refreshments on College Green before boarding the bus back to Dundalk. It was a late night, but a super experience for all concerned. Schools debating is a competitive and adrenaline-filled endeavour, and our students are all more than up for the challenge facing them in the next stages.

All at DGS look forward to further news of their fortunes later in the year!

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