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A dynamic Dublin derby

While my spies were keeping tabs on the debate between Gort and Mean Scoil Mhuire, I was watching the events in the second of our dramatic semi-finals.


This was a Dublin derby with Ard Scoil Ris, Griffith Avenue battling it out with Sandford Park School from Ranelagh.

Numbers taken by AIDS

During the debate Ard Scoil Ris kept a running tally of the numbers of people in Sub Saharan Africa who were dying from AIDS. “If the West intervened in Africa the way they ‘intervened’ at home, then AIDS in Africa would be a chronic and not terminal disease,” they argued. 

To support their argument, they brought in everyone from Pope Benedict XVI to George Bush. Also discussed were hospital recruiters in Europe who contribute to the medical brain drain in Africa.

The opposition, Sandford Park School, were having none of it. “The West is not exacerbating the problem”, they countered. “What about the Presidents’ Emergency Programme for Aids Relief? What about the Global Fund or debt relief? The problem is not caused by actions in the West. Rather, it is caused by non-action of leaders in Africa.”

It was a great debate that continued right through the open forum. It had it all: strong presentation; precise rebuttal; good humour and great research. No one envied the adjudicators.

Awaiting the final

So now we’re left with two teams who’ll have to duke it out in the final: Gort and Sandford Park. Both teams were called together to learn what awaits them in the National Final.

We announced the motion for the final: “The Irish government’s recent cut in overseas aid is misguided, irresponsible and just plain wrong”. Then came the traditional coin-toss to decide who would propose and who would oppose the motion.

The Gort Captain, Dominique Twomey, won the toss and opted to oppose. Sandford Park seemed happy enough with the result. I’m sure the trips home were animated as the teams started to brainstorm straight away.

The National Final will take place on 13 May in UCD. More information can be found here.