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.