A DUBLIN school is celebrating after winning the All-Ireland Concern Debates Championship.
St Kilian’s in Clonskeagh argued for the need to rekindle the ‘spirit of 1968’ in order to solve global humanitarian problems.
Secondary school students from 140 schools around Ireland had taken part in this year’s competition; 2017/18 is the first time that Kilian’s – which teaches children aged four to 18 – has nabbed the title.
The runners-up were Athlone Community College, Westmeath – a school which has won Concern Debates on three occasions since the contest was created 34 years ago.
The contest aims to encourage further learning and debate about humanitarian and development issues.
“We congratulate the winners and runners up in this year’s final, who showed exceptional debating skill, and the hundreds of students from all 140 schools who took part in the 2017-2018 competition,” said Concern’s Michael Doorly.
The final took place at The Helix at DCU.
As part of their prize, the winning Kilian’s team – made up of Leah Fellenz, Oscar Toomey, Aisling Burns, and Isabel van der Voort – will travel this summer to Kenya, one of the 26 countries where Concern Worldwide works to eliminate poverty.
Over 50,000 students have taken part since it began in 1984 and it is now one of the country’s largest school debating competitions.
Some of its well-known past participants include Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, Health Minister Simon Harris, RTÉ broadcaster Claire Byrne, and TV3 presenter Karen Koster.