Irish Times Debate

Irish Times Debate

Irish Times Debate

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The Irish Times National Debating Championship is a debating competition for students in higher education in Ireland. It has been run since 1960, sponsored by The Irish Times. While most participants represent institutions in the Republic of Ireland, institutions in Northern Ireland are also eligible.


The Union of Students in Ireland approached The Irish Times in 1960 to secure sponsorship for an Irish equivalent of the Observer Mace, but later The Irish Times would appoint a student convenor each year, often a previous year's winner. Until the 1970s, the best teams and individual went on to compete in the final of the Observer Mace. (The Mace no longer has an indiviadual competition.)

In 1979, Gary Holbrook of Metropolitan State College of Denver was on sabbatical at Trinity College Dublin and was impressed with the debate. In 1980, he persuaded Coors Brewers to sponsor a debate tour of U.S. colleges for the winning team and individual speakers. Holbrook subsequently organised "Friends of the...
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