Debating Society 1964-65

The year has been a good one on the whole. Policy has been modernised and drastically changed because it was seen fit to do so and chiefly because the Society is dissatisfied with the response of the Senior School.

The main change was the dividing of the Society into sections, a Junior Section and a Senior Section. Each section is governed by a Committee with the Senior Committee of the Society supreme. With this change in mind it will be seen best to deal with the Society in two reports.

(1) Junior Section

A most thriving section which gives the Society the bulk of its members. Under an able committee of P. Maddams 4, A. Shaw 4, and S. Devlin 3, the Juniors are off to a good start. They were very active this year with many debates. The first was held in November.
     The motion being: "This house believes that Factory Farming is Immoral."
     The speakers for the motion were Mulcahy and Moran, 3B.
     Those against: P. Maddams and A. Shaw.

On January 29th a debate was held on the following motion:
     "This house believes advertising cannot be both honest and effective."
     Those speaking for were: Mr. Thurnham and Mr. S. Devlin.
     Those against: Mr. Maddams and Mr. A. Shaw.
     The Chairman was Mr. D. Cryan.
A lively debate ensued with Mr. Thurnham opening for the Proposition, followed by Mr. Maddams for the Opposition. Mr. S. Devlin spoke next followed by Mr. A. Shaw. After eager questioning the motion was put to the house who rejected it by 12 votes to 10.

March 5th was the next occasion for a Junior debate.
     The motion being: "This house believes that Pirate Radios can be justified."
     Chairman: Mr. V. Nickless.
     Proposers: Mr. Gillespie and Mr. Riley.
     Opposers: Messrs. Devlin and Ferry.
A promising debate with good speeches by both sides followed with keen questioning. The house accepted the motion by 17 votes to five with 2 abstentions.

March 26th. Motion for this debate was:
     "This house considers bloodsports can be justified."
     Chairman: Mr. D. Cryan.
     Proposers: Messrs. Hollows and Moran.
     Opposers: Messrs. Herbert and Jennings.
Lively debating was experienced with intensive questioning after which the house rejected the motion by 17 votes to 3.

An old favourite returned to the scene in the motion:
     "This house believes that Latin has no use in this modern age," on May 7th.
     Mr. D. Cryan was in the Chair and
     Messrs. O'Keefe and Frost proposed the motion with
     Messrs. Devlin and O'Kelly opposing.
The debate became a praising ground for English and as per usual the motion was upheld overwhelmingly.

The final debate held by the Junior Section was on May 12th and the motion was:
     "This house believes that French should be taught in Primary Schools."
     The Chairman was Mr. D. Cryan.
     Proposers: Messrs. Inglese and Herbert.
     Opposers: Messrs. Quinlan and Jennings.
Two points emerged from this debate, firstly, the difficulty of learning English and the shortage of teachers. However, the motion was accepted by 9 votes to 7 with 4 abstentions.

(2) Senior Section

Attendance and general support for the Society in this section is very discouraging. Such has been found in the selection of speakers in such debates as those organised by the Seniors. Benefits are there for the seeking in joining the Society and speaking in debates, self-confidence in one's self and in speaking in public. So do join and accrue benefits.

The Committee for this year is as follows:
Mr. P. G. Cornes, M.R.S.T.   President
Mr. D. Cryan Chairman
Mr. L. J. Robinson Vice-Chairman
Mr. V. Nickless Secretary
Mr. P. D. J. Devlin Co-Treasurer
Mr. S. B. Jones Co-Treasurer
Mr. J. O'Sullivan Asst. Secretary

The Society took the plunge immediately with the following motion:
     "This house believes the Catholic Church to be in great need of reformation."
     In the Chair: Mr. P. D. Devlin.
     Proposers: Mr. T. O'Shea and Mr. P. Stapleton.
     Opposers: Mr. K. Prigmore and Mr. J. O'Sullivan.
A lively debate ensued with eager questioning from the floor which approved the motion.

Probably the most controversial motion of the year was:
     "This house believes the Irish are not, never have been, and never will be better than a third rate nation."
Never has such hostility been shown to, the Society and it was with great reluctance that the debate was withdrawn completely.

In February the following motion was debated:
     "This house would not fight for Queen or country."
     The Chairman was Mr. V. Nickless.
     Proposers: Mr. P. D. Devlin and Mr. L. Robinson.
     Opposers: Mr. E. Grandi and Mr. H. Wills.
Attendance at this debate, with 27 members, was encouraging but alas no staff were present.
Both Mr. Devlin and Mr. Robinson pointed out that it would be pointless to fight in another war since the obvious conclusion would be annihilation of the human race due to atomic warfare. Mr. Devlin pointed out much to the house's displeasure that the English would not support Queen and Country because they did not have the guts to do so.

Mr. Grandi said that nuclear war was an impossibility because of the risk involved and Mr. H. Wills opposed him but said that it would be better to die honourably in battle than in bed.

After some of the toughest questioning ever experienced at a debate the house carried the motion by 16 votes to 10. One member abstained.

The last debate of the term was held in June the motion being:
     "This house believes that Hell fire keeps the Churches warm."
     Those speaking for the motion: T. O'Shea, P. Kemp.
     Those speaking against: P. Devlin, A. McNeil.
     In the Chair: J. O'Sullivan.
After a fiery debate and enthusiastic questioning the house opposed the motion by 15 votes to 12.

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