Competition stages

The Concern Debates competition runs for several months and is completed over a number of stages. Every year, more than 100 schools argue their motions in the hope of being our next debating champions.

Engaging young people with social justice issues is empowering for the teacher and the learner and brings a real sense of energy to the classroom and to the school environment.

Sorcha Mellon - Teacher

Victory for Bagenalstown and Lisburn schools

The Presentation De La Salle Bagenalstown debates team were declared victors following a head-to-head with Bailieborough Community School in the 2021 All Ireland Concern Debates Cup final.

The Friends’ School Lisburn debates team were declared victors following a head-to-head with Ardscoil Mhuire, Limerick in the 2021 All Ireland Concern Debates Shield final.

Both finals took place over zoom on April 28th and 28th. You can watch them on the Concern YouTube channel on May 14th. Past participants of the contest include Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, RTÉ broadcaster Claire Byrne and Virgin Media presenter Karen Koster.

St Kilian's German School winners at the Concern Debate Finals. Photo: Ruth Medjber.
St Kilian's German School winners at the Concern Debate Finals. Photo: Ruth Medjber.

Stages explained

Here are the several stages of the Concern Debates.

Registration

Registration for the Concern Debates usually begins around the summer holidays. By registering, you are not guaranteed a place. A Concern Debates staff member will be in touch to let you know if your application is successful. 

League phase

Knockout stage

Quarter-finals

Semi-finals

National final

Debate final 2019

The 2019 finalists argued whether "China in Africa is more monster than messiah".

Concern Staff Christina at the Concern Debate Finals. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.

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