‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all’: A mature, weighty motion for our Second and Third Years to tackle in the annual O’Connor Cup Debate, indeed. You might think: how could these kids, wet behind the ears and profoundly innocent in the ways of the world, and the heart, manage to say anything of note in support or denial of Tennyson’s immortal maxim?
Ah, but you would be wrong, as all these youngsters have been learning about debating and about Cupid’s follies from Coach Rory O’Sullivan and Auditor Oisín Power, both of whom happen to be noted experts on the affairs of the heart, as well as rhetorical geniuses. Rory is known as the ‘Casanova of the Classics’ amongst the Greek and Roman set at Trinners and let us just say that Oisín has cut a Valentino-wide swathe through the debutantes of the Class of 2022.
The result was that all our speakers managed to make some very mature reflections on the motion, bringing some laughs from the audience, yes, but also some bittersweet tears from the more wistful and melancholic older staff members, like Mr. Lonergan. All the debaters made their mark, some with skilful presentation, some with well-structured arguments, some with a bit of both, but in the end James Power edged out Milo Smith and Michael Moore and a very high quality field.