Griffith College Schools Debating Competition 2024

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The Annual Griffith College Schools Debating Competition takes place on Friday 22nd of March 2024 at our Griffith College campus on the South Circular Road, Dublin 8.

The competition is open to all fourth, fifth and sixth-year secondary school students.

Entry Requirements

To partake in the Schools Debating Competition, you will need to submit a general essay
on the motion;

This House believes that Ireland's exam-obsessed model is failing Irish students.”

  • Essays should be 1,000 words in length.
  • Essays should be submitted no later than 3 pm Friday 9th February.
  • Essays should be accompanied by a cover letter confirming school details, name of team members, and contact details (teacher name, e-mail address etc.).
  • The teams shortlisted will be contacted no later than Friday, March 1st, and will be invited to attend our Schools Debating Finals Competition on Friday 22nd of March 2024.
  • Successful teams will be at this time be assigned to either the proposition or opposition of the motion.

Competition Guidelines

  • Each team will comprise 4 students.
  • The teams will consist of 4 students and each student will speak for between 3 - 5 minutes to a maximum of 15 minutes per team.
  • There will be a knock from the time-keeper at the end of 1 minute and the end of 4 minutes so students can keep track of timing, followed by a double-knock at 5 minutes.
  • Students will be penalised in points for continuing after 5 minutes.
  • Points of information are allowed but only between the first knock at 1 minute and the second knock at 4 minutes so the first minute and the last minute of a speech cannot be interrupted.
  • The proposition will start the debate with the first speaker (usually the captain) speaking first, followed by the opposition captain, alternating until all 4 teammates on each side have spoken.
  • There is no specific time-allocation for rebuttal so it should be integrated into speeches.
  • Judges do not tend to ask questions but are permitted to do so.


The Final

The teams that reach the final will be informed before lunch.
The final two teams will have one hour to prepare their debate, the motion will be on the topic of

“This House believes that the age of majority should increase from 18 years of age to 21 years of age.”

The opposition and proposition will be decided on the day.

Members of the Griffith College Debating Society will be available to assist the final two teams.
The rules for the final are similar to those of the initial rounds.

Please note, supporters from your school are welcome to attend this event and we would ask you to contact us in advance to confirm the number of supporters attending.

All submissions and queries can be sent to [email protected] 

For Debating Guidelines, please click here

For Debating Tips, please click here

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