Newbridge College junior team Ceola Ni Dhomhnalláin, Finian Mac an Rí, Mairéad Ni Scolaí
Despite tough opposition at the preliminary heat of Comórtas Díospóireachta An Phiarsaigh 2017 held in Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise, on November 13 last, young debaters from Newbridge College have qualified through to the next round of the competition.
Comórtas An Phiarsaigh is a national debating competition organized annually by Gael Linn for second-level schools nationwide, and funded by Foras na Gaeilge. Firmly established on the school calendar for almost 60 years, the principal aim of the competition has been to promote the use of Irish in schools and among young people.
First up to the podium on the day were the junior teams from St. Fergal’s College, Rathdowney and Newbridge College, who advocated that the Rose of Tralee competition should be done away with (‘Ba cheart deireadh a chur le comórtas ‘Rós Thrá Lí!) while the students of Holy Family Secondary School, Newbridge, and hosts, Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise, disagreed. Each speaker had three minutes in which to argue his or her case, and many valid points were made on both sides. In the end, however, it was the Rathdowney and Newbridge College teams who won over the adjudicators in their favour.
Later on that afternoon, the topical motion ‘ Is Parthas turasóireachta í Éire an lae inniu!’ ( The Ireland of today is a tourist Paradise!) tested the knowledge and resourcefulness of the senior teams from the same schools.Once again, the young orators from Newbridge College were confident in their delivery and were deemed winners on the night, along with their peers from Scoil Chríost Rí.
The successful Kildare teams now look forward to the challenge of round two, due to take place before the Christmas holidays.
Teachers Clodagh Conaire and Sarah Ní Mhaoilmhiagh prepared the teams for the debates.
Co-ordinator, Jamie Ó Tuama, thanked participants, along with the supporters who had travelled to the event.