So where do I begin?

So where do I begin?

You begin right here! Look through all of the sections in this students’ guide. If your teacher doesn’t have a copy, please email us at and we’ll post you one. 

Make sure to log on regularly to the debates homepage. Here you’ll find all the relevant forms and resources along with research tips and the league table. 

Our latest news is also available on our Twitter account.

Get your team in place

Each team should consist of four speakers, plus as many substitutes. Each team should also have researchers, a public relations representative, a timekeeper and as many other “groupies” as you can find. Everyone that participates in the debates or assists your team will receive a certificate. 

Another important thing to do is to select your team captain. Your captain will have the job of defining how your team interprets the motion and of introducing briefly the other members of the team and their arguments. Your captain also sums up your team’s arguments and refutes the arguments of your opponents at the end of the debate.

Once you receive your motion, the whole team should get together and discuss it, especially your “side” of the motion. Teams proposing the motion must defend it; those opposing the motion must argue against it.

Plan your approach

Make sure to plan your approach. Will you use a team line? For example, will your captain be the “Taoiseach”, with the rest of the team acting as “cabinet members”? Each of your points or arguments will arise from your ministerial position.