International final date for Summerhill’s debating stars

Two students from St. Joseph’s College, Summerhill, Sarah Murphy and Maura Mee added to their success in the inter-schools debating on Saturday last, 19th January, when they qualified for the international final of the International Competition Young Debaters (ICYD) debate which will take place in Oxford University on May 10th. The Athlone girls were accompanied at the competition by their Mentor, Mr. Seamus Downey, teacher in St. Joseph’s College, Summerhill. Twenty six teams took part in the Dublin Regional round which was a day-long event. Each team was expected to participate in four debates, the motions for which were given fifteen minutes before the teams were due to speak. Topics which were debated were Space Exploration, Re-introduction of the Death Penalty, Compulsory Voting and Development Aid. Each speaker was required to speak for five minutes. The debate format is similar to that of the Leinster Schools Debating Competition. Maura and Sarah have also qualified for the next round of that competition. A special word of thanks was extended by the Principal Ms. Mary Fahy to Seamus Downey, who she said works "tirelessly with the debating teams in our school".