AN apprentice solicitor from Rosscarbery has won the final of an annual debating competition at the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) in Dublin.
A team representing the Solicitors’ Apprentice Debating Society of Ireland won the Grand Final of the Annual Student Debate, which took place at the weekend.
Aaron Vickery (25) from Rosscarbery joined Ross O’Mahony (27) from Malahide to win the team competition after opposing the motion ‘This house believes that 2016 should be the last year in which Ireland commemorates the Easter Rising’.
Both are trainee solicitors with Arthur Cox in Dublin.
This year The Irish Times Debate was run in partnership with Ireland 2016, the state body charged with commemorating the centenary of the Rising. Cormac O’Brien from Douglas in Cork and representing UCC Philosophical Society was a finalist in the individual speaker competition.
The debate has been running since 1960 and is the oldest intervarsity debating competition in Ireland. This debate was chaired by historian Diarmaid Ferriter, Professor of Modern Irish History at UCD.
The winners will go on a three-week US debating tour hosted by Professor Brent Northup, chair of Communications at Carroll College and founder of Pax Rhetorica, School for Global Dialogue.
Kevin O’Sullivan, editor of The Irish Times and chairman of the judging panel, praised the extremely high standard of debating in this year’s competition, and said the paper was delighted to run this year’s debate in partnership with Ireland 2016.
‘The 1916 Rising was a seminal event in Irish modern history and our partnership with Ireland 2016 has led hundreds of young people, to not only learn about it, but also to re-examine it from many different angles,’ he said.
Former winners of the competition include Derek Davis, Henry Kelly, Marian Finucane, Donnchadh O Corrain, Dara O’Briain, Gerry Stembridge and Supreme Court judges Adrian Hardiman and Donal O’Donnell.