5ths and TY’s Win Concern Debate – By Bernard Cosgrove (5th Year)

The Non-Governmental Organisation charity Concern runs annual debates among schools all around Ireland. The motions that are presented with the teams regard issues ranging from the future of Ireland to the Developing World. Issues such as poverty, justice and human rights. This year marks the 30th year of these debates.

On Monday the 21st of October, the Concern debates began. Our debate was held in Glenstal. The Glenstal Team comprised of Bernard Cosgrove and Colm Hogan (5th Years), along with Gordon Daly and Eoin O’Loughlin, both in Transition Year. The motion for our debate was “Aid in the Developing World is a Luxury Ireland cannot afford.” As we were the home team, we were proposing the motion. With Laurel Hill Secondary School FCJ providing the opposition.

The debate began at 8.00pm in the Boardroom. Bernard Cosgrove, as captain of the team, spoke first and defined the motion and got the evening underway. Gordon Daly spoke second, about how Ireland is in a recession and cannot afford more expenses. Then, Colm Hogan took to the podium to speak about how inefficient government aid, and how receiving this aid results in over-dependency and corruption. Finally Eoin O’Loughlin proved how great non-Governmental aid is in contrast to aid by the state. At the end of the debate, Bernard spoke again for a second time, as did the captain of the opposition, recapping the points made by their colleagues and refuting the points of their opposition. Despite getting the tougher side of the motion, the Glenstal Team debated very well and, after a long speech by the Chief Adjudicator, we were victorious following a “unanimous decision.”

None of us had ever experienced Senior Debating before at such a high standard, so we were not aware of how to approach it. However, I would like to take this time to thank Br. Colmán, our coach, for the great help he provides us with and dedicating his free time for our benefit.

The four of us will again be debating soon, after the midterm-break, with debates against The Abbey School CBS from Tipperary Town, and St. Munchins College from Limerick scheduled.

Against The Abbey CBS, the motion will be “Genetically Modified Food is Essential in the Fight Against World Hunger”

And also against St. Munchins College, we will be debating “Young People in Ireland are Building a Better World.”

Parents are very welcome to attend these debates, 8.00pm is generally the time they begin.

For more information, you can visit this website:



Bernard Cosgrove – 5th Year