Posted: 21st January 2014

Just before Christmas (Tuesday, December 17th) a team of three Poetry students attended a parliamentary style debate in the Naas County Council building to defend the Liam O’Connell Perpetual Trophy and oppose the motion that “This house believes that the future health and wealth of Europe is heavily dependent on the successful development of renewable energy resources.” The team consisted of Matthew Dundon (captain), Conor Breslin (on the left above) and Matthew Gibbons (on the right) and was mentored by the school’s Latin teacher, Mr. Adam Conry.

Clongowes competed against seven other schools from the surrounding area to retain the trophy they had won the previous year. The debate followed an unusual format in which each team’s captain made an introductory statement before the floor was opened to free debate.

This style simulated the experience of real parliamentary  business  and challenged speakersto think on their feet as well as tabling detailed and viable energy policies. The standard of debating was exceptional and the competition provided great experience in public speaking.

Despite strong opposition, the adjudicators deemed that Clongowes’ use of humour and rhetoric set them apart from the other teams and secured their victory on the day. Many congratulations are due to the Higher Line debating team as Clongowes goes down in history as the only school to have won this competition two years in a row.

Matthew Dundon, Poetry

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