A team of debaters from Trinity’s Historical Society won the UCD Literary and Historical Society’s (L&H) Vice-President’s Cup last weekend. Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin and Colm Denny beat off competition from teams from a variety of institutions.
The event, which was held in Astra Hall, draws debating teams from universities across Ireland and the United Kingdom, with over 70 teams competing over the weekend.
L&H auditor Niall Fahy told The University Observer: “Because UCD send debating teams around Europe, we invite teams from all of Ireland first of all, as well as Trinity, Galway, Limerick, Cork and teams from the Kings Inns as well. He also stated that: “Teams from Oxford and Cambridge and a few other places in England come along.”
Fahy went on to explain the structure of the competition: “There’s five rounds, and I think it could be called a round-robin system. Each round had four teams in it.” Fahy explained that the finalists are submitted to a public semi-final, which is received by a large audience, before they progress to the final on Saturday evening.
Fahy told The University Observer that every university hosts a major debating weekend at some point during the academic year and that the competition is named is in honour of the Vice-Presidents of the L&H over its 156 years.
The competition has been running for many years but still faces funding issues and the society has had to carefully control its budget in recent years: “A lot of the competitors will be sleeping on floors of people who live in UCD; I have probably four people sleeping on my floor. But some get hostels as well.
“We try and cut our costs down as much as possible, based on the registration fee that each team has to pay. So they pay a registration fee, and because of that we can buy food in bulk, and we can buy some alcohol as well for the social element on the Saturday evening. But the competition usually does fund itself. In better economic times we have been able to get sponsorship for it, which means we’ve been able to splash out a bit more.” A catering van was hired by the society for the event, which The University Observer understands cost €1,210.
Fahy was keen to commend the L&H committee for their preparation for the event: “All the committee are working very hard and obviously making a lot of sacrifices, putting people on their floors or just being in and judging five debates. I’m got two conveners, Christine and Derbhla organising this and they’ve been organising it since May.”
Fahy also spoke of the importance of the competition for the society: “When the name of the competition is associated with esteem and prestige then it goods for the L&H and we’re very happy about that.”