Friends’ School pupils talk their way to debate victory

has won one of Ireland’s largest debating contests – which took place online this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Left to right Holly Thompson, Eden Wilson, Alice Francey, Beth Eccles of Friends' School Lisburn

Friends’ School Lisburn were crowned all-Ireland champions in the Concern Debates Shield final after triumphing over Ardscoil Mhuire Limerick. More than one hundred post-primary schools took part in the competition.

The winning team – captain Alice Francey, Beth Eccles, Eden Wilson and Holly Thompson - successfully argued for the motion that “even beyond 2030, the Sustainable Development Goals are beyond humanity’s reach.”

“It was a fantastic experience for the girls,” said Friends’ School Lisburn teacher and debates team mentor Vivien Black. “It really pushed them to think about the bigger world beyond their own experience. They explored a range of issues that are relevant to their lives now and will be forever relevant beyond their own teenage years.”

“We congratulate all 102 secondary schools and their debating teams from across Ireland, north and south, who took part this year,” said Concern’s Head of Active Citizenship, Michael Doorly. “Debating is a wonderful and very useful skill for people to equip themselves with.”