What is debating? For the last few years, in the era of covid, at times it felt like a surreal version of trial by Zoom. However, this year at MCS, debating means so much more. 

Taking part in the Concern Debating competition this year has opened endless opportunities for all four of us. We’ve gained copious experience in voicing our opinions on diverse political and social topics. Starting in October with weekly meeting and discussions with the debating society, our senior competition team was formed. As the league commenced, we defended a variety of taboo topics from GMOs being inhumane to climate activists gorging on meat, it wasn’t always an easy task. Nevertheless, with a team of four passionate debaters, we surpassed the league round with unanimity and pride. 

From then on out it was do-or-die knockout rounds and with this came a new-found pressure. Any slip up in a speech or rebuttal could be fatal, a fact that sat in the back of all of our minds. In spite of this growing tension though, we bonded as a group of close friends, not just debaters. This (along with my lucky socks) was key to our success. 

Now, in the All-Ireland semi-finals, as one of the top four debating teams in the country, we are ecstatic. Looking back to the start of the year when we argued with computer screens, it seems a distant memory. We now get to proudly grace the Camden Court in April, decked out in skirts and blazers, continuing to do what we love. However, this achievement would be nothing without our dedicated mentor, Ms McCormack, who, through all the whining and excessive blaring of 2012 Justin bieber hits, proved integral to our team.