The Debate is Over…

11 April 2024

…and the motion has been carried: “That this House declares St. Conleth’s to be the greatest debating school in the land!”  We should have laid a few quid down at Paddy Power as the Conlethian contingent at the Leinster Senior Schools Debating Final was always likely to come up trumps (can we still say that?).  After all, Conlethians in debating finals are like the Claudians of Ancient Roman politics: they are so ubiquitous (and qualified) that it is difficult not to vote for one! (And if you don’t, chief ‘supporter’ Charlie Power may have to have a word with you… in a back alley of Belfield!). Two of the four teams in the Final, chosen after many gruelling rounds, were Conlethian: Turlough Dineen & Lochlan Flynn and Senan Corry & Milo Smith. And it could have been three! But, alas, there was some trouble with the barbarians in the West and fellow qualified finalists Hugo Sweeney and Finley O’Dea were dispatched as proconsuls to quell the disturbance. They will return for another season of haranguing in the curia, as will Senan and Milo, who finished a proud second place. This night, however, belonged to Turlough and Lochlan who, when all the point-making, barracking, theatrical grimacing and petulant posturing were over, were the only ones left at the rostrum… and ready to receive their laurels! 

This dynamic duo will now join a panoply of Conlethian debating legends in the great debating hall in the sky (or The Law Library): The Wards, Kennedy, The O’Dwyers, Collins, White…(We’d better keep going!).. Roche, Quinn, The Prasifkae, Costigan, Hegarty, Nolan...tbc… And this list is not (just) a vain attempt to reference Aeneas’s vision in Hades of inspiring Roman greats, for the vibrant connection with St. Conleth’s debating legacy is very much a driving force for our continued success. Adrianne Ward, our brilliant current debating coach, is not an alumna, but she certainly has Conlethian connections and if you look at the photos above, you will spot Saoirse Corry (2023) and Oisín Power (2022). Saoirse was there to support her brother, Senan, but also her alma mater and Oisín may have officially been on ‘Friendly Installation Photography Assignment’ for his Chinese governmental masters but he is also is a university debating power, whose presence (accented by Bismarkian muttonchops and floral haberdashery) galvanised the Conlethian contingent. And now that we have the biggest debating trophy in Ireland in the cabinet again, let us turn our attention to the truly titanous oratorical tangles: the Conlethian in-house debates. It all starts this Friday with the McCarthy Cup for First Years!

by Charles Latvis

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