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Debates semi-finals: an overview

The Concern Debates semi-finals took place on Thursday 18 April in Dublin City University (DCU), with four teams debating the motion: “Hugo Chavez’s legacy should be celebrated.”

High standard

Both semi-final debates were of a very high standard and the audience was gripped throughout. It was clear to everyone there that all teams had done extensive research and preparation for the night.

The first debate

In the first debate, the motion was carried by Newbridge College who were debating against the opposition: Ardscoil Rís. Newbridge College argued that Chavez empowered the people through the constitution, education, and health, economic growth and employment and that he gave a voice to the poor. Ardscoil Rís countered that Chavez’s solutions were short-term, that his legacy is one of unsustainable oil and denying people their basic human rights and that he was focused on power rather than empowerment.

The second debate

The motion was defeated in the second debate by Ardscoil Mhuire from Corbally, who were debating against the proposition from Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare. Kenmare argued that Chavez’s legacy was one of democracy, while he empowered people, lifted millions from poverty and played a prominent role in bringing about the second independence of Latin America. Ardscoil Mhuire argued that Chavez showed an open disregard for human rights and made a mockery of democracy, stating that his legacy was one of economic ruin, oil dependency and violence, tyranny, censorship, abuse and control of the media.

Well done!

Both debates were thrilling and each team argued their points intelligently and passionately. Well done to all four teams for their impressive debating, excellent research and for getting so far in what has been a competitive year for the Concern debates!

The final

Brace yourself for the debates final on 16 May when Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally and Newbridge College will go head-to-head.

•    Read more about this year’s debate final
•    Find out more about this year’s finalists
•    Learn more about our charity work