Poster of the Concern Debates all-Ireland Final 2017

As anyone who has ever taken part in one of the annual argumentative pow-wows, a Concern Debates final isn’t your typical kind of event.

The din of roars, shouts, cheers and supportive howls that follow a quick quip, a gesture or that ever present ‘mike drop’ moment launch an entire room into an emotional duel of wits, spoken word and golden moments around crafting that perfect on-the-spot retort.

This year’s finalists teams heralded from  Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty, led by captain Laura Walsh, Caoimhe Ni Shuilleabhain, Natasha Sutton and Maebh McCarthy (and coached by Ms Harte with the assistance of Siofra O’Shea) and St Mary’s CBS Carlow, led by captain Colm Heneghan, James Haughton Kellett, Eoin McGloin and Johnny.

Considering the motion of the finals, that The Trump Presidency will be a blessing in disguise for Africa, the stage was well set for an evening of explosive energy, heated exchanges, facts (yes facts STILL matter) and staunch arguments from the competition’s finest debating teams in 2017.

The motion, ultimately, and defiantly, was defeated. The verdict rendered and announced: Sacred Heart, Clonakilty, successful arguing that The Trump presidency will not be a blessing in disguise for Africa.

Launched in 1984, over 50,000 students have been involved in the debates to date.

See the story of the final unfold through the Tweets below, a selection of which is presented following live streams Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter (#Debates2017).

The close of our final is coming soon! #DebateIt #debates2017

A post shared by Concern Active Citizenship (@concernactive) on

  • The 33rd all-Ireland Concern debates final took place at The Helix in Dublin City University on May 4th, 2017.
  • More info on the Concern Debates initiative and a Concern press release on the event
  • A learning resource for debating world development issues: Finding our Voice
  • Got a gripe with a policy? Want to debate an issue and looking to weigh up the arguments? Get in touch
Share this: