DEBATERS from the Literary and Historical Society (L&H) have emerged victorious in two of the major intervarsity competitions in America and Canada. The team, which consisted of UCD students, Stephen Boyle and Ian Boyle Harper, won both the University of Toronto Debating Intervarsity as well as the Yale Intervarsity.
L&H Auditor, Ian Hastings, expressed his delight with the performances of both debaters in each competition. “The guys were great,” said Mr Hastings. “It would have been the best teams in North America, who are among the best in the world [that they competed against].”
Another two teams consisting of members from L&H participated in the Yale Intervarsity. The second team, which consisted of Mr Hastings and Conor McAndrew, reached the quarterfinal. Mr Boyle finished second in the overall speaker’s competition, while Mr Hastings came third.
The third team, which consisted of first year students, Rebecca McGrath and Julia Lawlor, won the novice competition while Ms McGrath also won best novice speaker.
Mr Hastings was said he was “ecstatic” with the L&H’s overall performance and hoped that they could continue on their success at both Cork and Oxford Intervarsity competitions. “It’s very big because all three teams did so well,” said Mr Hastings. “It wasn’t a case of one team did well and the other didn’t, all three were very good.”
Mr Hastings praised both Ms McGrath and Ms Lawlor’s performance in their first intervarsity competition and described their achievements as “terrific.” “One of the things that I’m happiest about is how good the first years got on and how much potential is there,” said Mr Hastings. “It’s an incredibly difficult thing to do- to go over to a university and do so well when they haven’t done university debating before.”
Mr Hastings referred to the high standard associated with both competitions, saying that the standard would have been “quite high… it would be the American equivalent of Oxford. I think the toughest [team to beat] is Oxford and then Yale would probably be second to it.”
Overall, Mr Hastings was pleased with the success and was hopeful that it would benefit the society for future competitions. “Competitive debating is a big part of what we do, what we spenD our money on” said Mr Hastings. “It’s good to get a return and at the end of the day, it’s just about enjoying yourselves.”
The Yale Intervarsity took place from 24th to 25th October. Ninety-two teams from different universities across America such as Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago and New York University competed in the event. The Oxford Intervarsity is to take place from November 7th to 9th and it is expected that over 140 teams will compete this year.