Three Loreto Stephen’s Green Students for Team Ireland

Three Loreto Stephen’s Green Students for Team Ireland

Last February we were delighted to announce that three of our pupils (Niamh Ryan, Sarah Duffy and Aishling Kinsella) had been selected for inclusion in the Irish World Schools Debating Team.  The five person team competed with great distinction in Stuttgart as they progressed into the knockout rounds, where they eventually suffered a very narrow defeat to a strong Australian team.  Over the last two months the selection process for this year’s team has been under way with trials held around the country.  Undoubtedly the standard at the trials was very high as Ireland's best debaters competed for a place on the team. 

We are really proud to be able to announce that, once again, three of the five spots on the team were awarded to pupils from our school.  Sarah Duffy has been selected for the third year in a row (a fantastic achievement, well done Sarah) and this year she will be joined on the team by transition year students Caoilainn Carey and Sophie Bannon.  This is a great achievement for two girls who have put a huge amount of time and effort into debating over the last three and a half years here in The Green.  The three girls and their teammates, Ronan Daly from Rochestown College and Aislinn Carty from Loreto Beaufort, will now be busy preparing for the World Schools Debating Championships 2017 in Bali.   


We wish all of the team and their coaches the best of luck as they head to Bali next August to compete against the best in the world.  Come on Ireland!!!       
 

Debating Update November 2016

Debating Update November 2016


It has been a very busy few months for those students who take part in Debating in Loreto College.  Juniors have taken part in the Colaiste na hInse Mace, the Loreto College Mace, the Irish round of the International Competition for Young Debaters (ICYD), and the Leinster Junior Debating Competition in UCD.  Meanwhile our seniors have been taking part in the Irish round of the Cambridge Schools Debating Competition, the Concern Debating Competition, the Aoife Begley Debating Competition and the Leinster Schools Debating Competition.

Most of these competitions are in the early stages and we have had a lot of excellent results with students placing in the top two teams to secure progression to the next round.  We would like to especially congratulate Aoileann Ni Mhurchú, Tara O'Sullivan, Ellen McKimm and Adrianne Ward.  All four girls made the final of the Colaiste na hInse Mace with Aoileann winning an award for topping the tab and Tara winning the best speaker in the final award.  They also all made the final of the Irish round of the ICYD with Ellen and Adrianne winning the final and securing a place in the international finals day later in the year in Cambridge.

We would like to congratulate our new debating secretaries for the year.  Ciara Barry and Siofra Brady will be running our junior debating club debates every week.  Alex Byrne and Anna Bourguignon have been appointed to run mace debating for the year.  They have already shown what a good appointment that was as they organised an excellent competition last month.  They were ably assisted by numerous 5th year students (debaters and non-debaters) who helped them set up, organise and clean up throughout the entire Saturday.  The competition ran very smoothly because of all their hard work. 

Loreto College Junior Mace Debate

Loreto College Junior Mace Debate

On Saturday 16th of April, the school hosted our annual junior debating mace competition. This year, the competition was to encourage beginners to debate and therefore was directed at first and second years. The day was a great success with cooperation from all those involved in debating.

There were three rounds and a final. The standard of the final was excellent and our judges were Niamh Ryan, Aishling Kinsella and Mark Kelly. The motion was This House Would punish parents for the crimes of their children.  A team from Ratoath won the final and an individual from Presentation Brothers College Cork won the best speaker. A team from Loreto, Adrianne Ward and Ellen McKimm, also made it to the final and spoke brilliantly. They came first and second on the tab, meaning that they had the highest speaker points after all the debates. 

Overall, everyone really enjoyed the day and it was a great experience for those who had never debated before.

Loreto College wins the International Schools’ Mace

Loreto College wins the International Schools’ Mace

Every year, since 1957, the debating champions of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland compete against each other to win the coveted International Schools’ Mace.   This year’s competition was held in London with Loreto College (Grace Given and Sarah Duffy) taking part as the Irish champions.  We were drawn against Wales in the semi-finals.  The motion was that “This House would oblige strict religious communities to facilitate each of their adolescents to spend a year outside of the rules and restrictions of that community (e.g the Rumspringa practice of the Amish)”.  After a good week of preparation, including an 8am mock debate with Aishling Kinsella and Niamh Ryan acting as Wales, the girls travelled to London in confident form.  As expected from a competition where everybody is a national champion the standard was incredibly high but the girls put in an excellent semi-final performance to defeat Wales and progress to the final.  In the final they were given the task of proposing the motion that “This House believes that everyone should give away all their money above the median wage”.  This time they would be taking on the English champions.    Once again Grace and Sarah did an amazing job as they gave us a multitude of well explained logical reasons why everybody should do this as well as analysing the benefits that would accrue to the individual and society as a whole as a result of this proposal.  The opposition did a good job of contesting this position and the debate was clearly going to be a tough one for the judges to call.  After a long wait, we were delighted to hear that Ireland had won the debate and claimed the International Schools’ Mace for Loreto College for the first time ever.  In fact an Irish team has only won this competition four times since its inauguration.  This is an amazing achievement by two extremely talented and hardworking young students who have put a huge amount of time and effort into debating during their time in Loreto College.  They were wonderful ambassadors for our school and their success was well deserved.  Congratulations girls.  We would also like to congratulate Clíodhna Ní Chéileachair and Aodhán Peelo from UCD on winning the John Smith Memorial Mace (the college equivalent of the Schools’ Mace). 

Junior Debating Success

Junior Debating Success

The final of the Leinster Junior Debating Competition took place last week in the debating chamber in UCD.  Sophie Bannon and Caoilainn Carey had progressed to the final after six rounds of debating spanning several months.  Over 100 teams had entered this competition and we were now down to the final four.  Once again the Loreto College team was in first proposition.  They faced a challenging motion in that they had to propose that “This House would compel Stark Industries to hand over the Iron Man technology to the government”.  Using their detailed knowledge of all things Marvel, the girls made an interesting case based on the principle of eminent domain.  The girls prepared very diligently all week for the final and as always delivered their speeches excellently.  We are delighted to announce that Sophie and Caoilainn were declared the winners. 

This means that for the first time ever Loreto College are the reigning Leinster Debating Champions at both Senior and Junior level.  This also rounds off an amazingly successful year of debating for Caoilainn and Sophie who won four junior mace debating competitions in addition to the Leinster Championship.  Well done girls.

ALL IRELAND DEBATING CHAMPIONS!

ALL IRELAND DEBATING CHAMPIONS!

Last Saturday the final of the All Ireland Schools Debating competition took place in the National University of Ireland, Galway.  Grace Given and Sarah Duffy were given the challenging task of speaking as the first proposition team on the motion that “This House regrets the valorisation of the 1916 Easter Rising”.  Grace opened the case for Loreto College with an insightful analysis of the problems that have occured in the last 100 years as a result of this valorisation.  Later on in the debate, Sarah gave a clear and articulate account of the flaws in the opposition case.  As expected, the standard was very high as the champions of the different provinces went head to head.  We are delighted to announce that Grace and Sarah won the debate and are now the All Ireland Champions.  This is a fantastic achievement by the girls and it is also due reward for the huge effort that both girls have put into debating since joining the school.  As a result of this victory they will travel to London on the 23rd of April to represent Ireland in the International Mace Finals Day in the English Speaking Union headquarters.  Congratulations and best of luck girls.

English & Irish January Debating Update!

English & Irish January Debating Update!

We've had a very busy few weeks of debating in the school, in UCD, Institute of Education and St Enda's Rathfarnham.

Ella McLoughlin, Elizabeth Bolger and Aoibheann Dillon-Kelly describe the debates;

Oxford Schools Debating Competition  

On Friday 14th January, Loreto on the Green welcomed teams from all over Leinster and beyond to compete in the annual Oxford Schools Debating Competition.  Three teams represented the school, with Sarah Duffy, Grace Given, Aishling Kinsella, Ella McLoughlin, Julie O'Brien and Elizabeth Bolger all taking part. The debates took place over two rounds, discussing banning private schools and the dependence of aid provision on a country's record with LGBT individuals. Both debates were engaging and interesting, and all speakers spoke very well on behalf of their sides.

After a few cups of tea and much deliberation from the Judges, it was decided that Aishling and Ella and  Sarah and Grace would go on as two of three teams to represent Ireland at Final's Day in March, hosted by the Oxford Union.

Ella McLoughlin describes the Irish Qualifying Round for the Cambridge Senior Schools Debating Finals Day

On Saturday 16th January, the Irish Qualifying Round was held for the Cambridge Senior Schools Debating Finals Day.  The competition took place in the Institute of Education and a total of 9 teams competed. The day began at 10:30 when we were given 15 minutes to prepare the first motion which was ' This House believes that the Government should not fund the reconstruction of buildings in areas prone to disaster'.  After an interesting start to the day and an enjoyable lunch, the second round began with the motion 'This House would destroy all art by artists who committed grossly immoral acts'.
There was a draw to the final in which four teams debated.  The motion read 'The House would place a limit on the replacement of human labour by machinery'.  A team from Belvedere, a team from the Institute of Education and two teams from Loreto on the Green qualified. Grace Given and Rachael Mulally opposed the motion and Julie O'Brien and Elizabeth Bolger were on side proposition.  After a very engaging debate by all teams, the judges deliberated and chose Julie and Elizabeth as the team to represent Ireland at Cambridge on February 28th.

Elizabeth Bolger describes Comórtas an Phiarsaigh Regional Final in St Enda's Rathfarnham.

The Regional final took place in the Halla Mór in the Pearse Museum (formerly Scoil Éanna-the Gaelscoil which Padraig Mac Piarais founded), so the girls had an opportunity to soak up a bit of local history in the museum before the debate began.  The team of Áine Kennedy, Isabelle Healy and Aoibheann Dillon-Kelly spoke excellently and really did the school proud, but were unfortunately defeated by De La Salle College, Dundalk who will now proceed to the All Ireland Finals.
Comhghairdeas leis an bhfoireann!!

13 Loreto Students Break to Leinster Debating Final!

13 Loreto Students Break to Leinster Debating Final!

After 4 rounds of intensive debating the National Junior Mace Debating Competition has now progressed to the provincial final stage.  Over 300 students have been taking part in the various rounds of the competition with the top 80 students going forward to take part in the Leinster Final on the 27th of February.  This year we are delighted to announce that 13 students from Loreto College St Stephen’s Green have qualified.  This is a new record for the school as it beats our previous best of 8 students from two years ago.  Congratulations to Sophie Bannon. Caoilainn Carey, Isabelle Healy, Hana Gallagher, Emily Mansfield, Aoileann Ní Mhurchú, Tara O’Sullivan, Ellen McKimm, Adrianne Ward, Aoife Paul, Nora Wyer, Sarah Lawler and Claire Gregg.  Good luck to all the girls as they try and emulate current debating secretary Sarah Duffy and bring the Leinster trophy back to the Green.  

Debating Year Off To A Great Start!

Debating Year Off To A Great Start!

The junior debating season has started with the first two Junior Mace Debating Competitions taking place over the last two weekends.  The year began with the Belvedere Mace.  We had a large level of interest and so we entered six teams in this competition (Caoilainn Carey, Maeve Bruen, Hana Gallagher, Isabelle Healy, Sarah Lawler, Amy Collins, Esme Smith, Keelin Harrison, Ellen McKimm, Adrianne Ward, Aoileann Ní Mhurchú, Tara O'Sullivan).  All of our teams argued excellently and as a result won at least one of their four debates.  This was especially impressive as for some of the girls this was their first debating competition.  The top four teams broke to the final with Loreto College taking three of the four spots with Aoileann and Tara just missing out on the final in fifth place on tab.  Hana and Isabelle had finished first on the tab with Ellen and Adrianne in third and Caoilainn and Maeve fourth.  The final was an interesting debate about registration of superheros (set in a world where superheros and supervillains exist).  Unfortunately Hana and Isabelle were edged out by the Jes for first place in a split decision by the judging panel but Hana was awarded the best speaker prize.

The following Saturday it was on to Colaiste na hInse in Bettystown for the first round of the National Junior Mace sponsored by Matheson.  This time five Loreto College teams made the trip (Caoilainn Carey, Sophie Bannon, Isabelle Healy, Hana Gallagher, Ellen McKimm, Adrianne Ward, Claire Gregg, Tara O'Sullivan, Esme Smith and Eva Given).  Once again all of our speakers competed well and did the school proud.  We were delighted that two of our teams made the final with Hana and Isabelle along with Sophie and Caoilainn joining teams from Belvedere College and Clonkeen College.  The standard in the final was incredibly high for a junior competition with the teams arguing about schools being compelled to include a student representative on boards that appoint new teachers.  We were very pleased when the judges announced Sophie and Caoilainn as the winners of the debate (even if it took them a second to realise that they were the team in closing opposition and had in fact just won the competition!). 

We are just into October and two debating trophies have been added to the cabinet.  Well done girls.

Junior Mace Debating

Junior Mace Debating

On Saturday 18th April the school hosted our annual Junior Debating Mace. It was a great success and we were delighted to see so many of our younger students taking part, with 24 students from 1st to 3rd year representing the Green, competing alongside teams from other schools in Dublin.

Over the day, all the debaters tackled three challenging topics; This House Would Pay Students for Good Grades, This House Would Ban Photoshopping in Advertising and This House Believes Violence in Movies, TV Shows, Computer Games and all Visual Media is Harmful to Society. At the end of the day the top four teams, Loreto Beaufort A, Loreto Beaufort B, Clonkeen College and Wesley College broke to the final where they debated the topic This House Believes Public Figures Have No Right to Privacy.

There was an incredibly high standard of debating throughout the day and in the final. Congratulations to Maeve Ní Bhraonain and Sarah Hickey from Loreto Beaufort B who won the overall team prize, with Maeve winning the best individual speaker too.

Thank you to Ms Barrett and Mr Fitzgerald for facilitating us having the Mace in the school and the brilliant team of 5th, 6th and 4th years who helped out with numerous jobs on the day such as judging, tabbing and setting up the rooms. Finally thank you to Mr Mulligan for all his help and advice with planning the Mace over the past few months.

We hope all participants had an enjoyable and educational day and will continue debating in the future.

Aishling Kinsella & Niamh Ryan
 

All-Ireland Schools Debating

The All-Ireland Schools Debating final took place in UCD over the Easter break.  Well done to Sarah Duffy and Niamh Ryan who finished as Runners-up in the team category.  In addition to this, Sarah came 2nd in the individual competition and Niamh won the individual prize to become the All-Ireland Debating Champion.  Congratulations on a fantastic achievement.  Thanks to the 5th years who came along and provided such enthusiastic support.