Belvedere College - Debating Archive

Debating Archive

Debating Archive

Past Debating Successes

2008 Manus Carlisle wins Leinster Junior Schools (individual)

2009 Johnny Byrne wins Leinster Junior Schools (individual)

2010 John Doody and Kevin Millar win Leinster Senior Schools (team)

2011 Mark A Kelly and Johnny Byrne win UCD L&H Senior Mace (team)

2012 Thomas Arnold wins Leinster Junior Schools (individual)

Belvedere Mace 2012

Mace Debate Saturday October 6th 2012Mace Debate
Six current Belvedere students, in the months leading up to the 6th of October 2012, organised the Belvedere Mace competition; a mace debating competition open to students from first to third year coming from various secondary schools from all four provinces of Ireland.  The six Belvedere convenors were Thomas Arnold (SX), Thomas Natin (SX), Rían Hayes (PK), Jack Loftus (SS), Edward Byrne (SX) and Eoin O’Brien (SX). These six brave men were helped immensely in the few months previous by one Mark Kelly OB 2012 and also on the day John Doody OB 2010 who was also the Chief Adjudicator on the day of the debate. The contribution and dedication of all these people including Mr Philip Hogan were key to the success of the Belvedere Mace debating competition.  

         Mace DebateI arrived in school just barely on time with a scarf in one hand, a tie in the other. The school was mine for the day, all mine, a wave of power washed over me, I couldn’t help but smile.  We had planned and planned for months and months in an effort to make one day possible. I hopped up the steps two at a time up to the reception, greeting the greatly appreciated ‘helpers’ who gave up their Saturday for us.  This was the first time that I as a student of Belvedere could say that I genuinely had some authority over these people, although it meant nothing to them it was a maturing experience for me and I’m sure all the other convenors. 
        Just affore the brown shiny tables began in their uniform pattern numerous boxes brown boxes were stacked, cardboard and sellotape was all they were in essence but what it meant was one less thing that could go wrong, the anticipated new idea had arrived, our innovation, breakfast; Dapper donuts, monstrous muffins and scaldy scones, all broadcasting great spectrums of forgiving light in every direction. Before I knew it I contestants were arriving trying to register for the Belvedere College Mace 2012, possibly a bigger event in my calendar than theirs. I hopped into the box office and began taking names, schools, payments partners, everything. After all had registered and paid and those who were late had been taken into account everyone was here. They headed into the theatre for a workshop/ crash-course in mace debating in which time Eoin was entering all the data into the computer for tabbing, Rían and Thomas were presenting to the competitors what they would be doing all day and I was eating a few Danishes.

Mace debateThe competitors then made their way over to the Kerr wing to begin their debates. The judges dribbled into their rooms at various times and called in their teams. The judges were from various colleges and senior cycles in secondary schools, coming along to improve their judging skills and just to help us out as the higher the number of college students who judge at a Mace competition the more reputable it shall be. So the judges were all listening to different rooms, different speeches on the same topic simultaneously while we, as convenors, prepped the sweets and drinks to be served between rounds. 
       The scores from that round were collected and run up to the tabber/tabby [Eoin] who then would enter them into the computer so it could generate random rooms for the next rounds, all the while the contestants sat around and refreshed themselves after a difficult 5 minutes of speaking each.
      The same order of events was used for the four rounds, except between the 3rd and 4th round 85 pizzas arrived in tinfoil just by magic, we stacked them out in the new and old ref; old being for the judges, new for but plebeian competitors.
                When all four preliminary rounds were done four teams were picked out of the total eighty that spoke on the day to speak in a final which is a highly coveted opportunity, as the first mace of the year  it stamps ones authority in the debating world, people will know you, they will fear you.
      During the Final a number of celebrity figures were attending and judging. Aodhán O’Riordáín was there Judging and the Ceann Comhairle himself Seán Barrett was chairing the debate. The debate went off without a hitch, but what can one do except begin the clean up after?

Article by Edward Byrne (SX)

2013 Cian Henry and Barry Maguire win TCD CHS Senior Mace (team)

Boston College High - Belvedere Debate April 2013

In April 2013, Belvedere hosted the 4th annual visit of students and teachers from Boston College High. It has become a highlight of the school calendar and something that is looked forward to eagerly. The BC High students were hosted by Syntax students. As part of their exchange itinerary the BC High students engaged (with help in preparation from their Belvedere exchange hosts) in a debate with Belvedere students. The topic this year was That this house would only give development aid to democratic countries. Leon Langdon (GL), Paraic Cagney (RuK), Daniel Culleton (RuF) and Michaeal Killarney (RuK) represented Belvedere in what was an interesting debate. All 8 speakers in the debate spoke extremely well and were a credit to both schools. The following is a blog entry from Chris Hansen, one of the BC High participants:

'Last Tuesday's debate was extremely fun and exciting, until we lost. All joking aside the debate was an interesting experience; much different than any debates we'd have in America. To give you an idea of what an American debate is like think of that old cartoon Tom and Jerry. You know, the one where the cat chases the mouse and they try to kill each other? That's basically the jist of an American debate.  I can say with confidence, this was a much more civilized and structured debate. Going into it I was expecting to just sort of argue back and forth, with no real rules to it, just like a formal argument. This was not the case, and as I learned there was a certain structure to it, and it had been fine tuned into a very precise art. In all honesty at times we really didn't follow the structure that we were supposed to, and we forgot a bunch of little things. I already mentioned before that we lost, and in all fairness to those judging the debate, I could tell about halfway through that we were going to lose. We talked in circles and never really got to the main part of our debate until Max spoke (side note: Max really is a fantastic speaker). The Belvo lads (as they call them here) did a much better job getting down to the main point, with a better structure, and not as much "fluff" in their argument as we had. I have to hand it to them, they did a great job, but I'm still pretty bitter we lost. At the end of the day, it really was a highlight of this whole trip and it was absolutely exciting, and maybe I'll do debating when I get back in America! Who knew I would end up doing something new and exiting on this trip!'

Chris Hansen
BC High Student

BC High students speaking in the debate.

BC High students speaking in the debate.

above photo -  Leon Langdon (GL) speaking in the Belvedere - BC High Debate.

2015 Cathal McGuinness wins Leinster Junior Schools (individual)

2015 Dara Kelly wins Leinster Senior Schools (individual)

  • belvedere college - Study Skills

    Study Skills

    The Foundation For Lifelong Learning - A list of study skills resources to help you with your studying

    Read More
  • belvedere college - Parents Information

    Parents Information

    A warm welcome is extended to the parents and guardians of students in Belvedere College S.J. past and present.

    Read More
  • belvedere college - Past Pupils

    Past Pupils

    One of the great strengths of Belvedere College is the continuing commitment of the past pupil body to the school.

    Read More