Concern Debate Finals in the Helix Theatre. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.Concern Debate Finals in the Helix Theatre. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.Concern Debate Finals in the Helix Theatre. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.

Get your school involved

Get your school involved

Registration for the Concern Debates 2021-2022 Competition is now closed.

If you have applied to take part in this year's competition, our Debates Team will be in touch very soon to confirm your place on the programme and provide next steps and training dates. 

For more information on how to join our mailing list, please contact debates@concern.net

What's involved

While the debates traditionally took place face to face, COVID-19 restrictions have meant a change to the way the debates are run and organised. Please read the following carefully:

The Concern Debates programme is open to senior cycle students and runs from October with the finals taking place in March and April 2022.

The programme will be run online from October 2021, with the first debates taking place from November 1st 2021.  

Schools who have successfully registered will be informed once the registration deadline closes in September 2021 and will then be provided with their motions and fixtures list in early October.

The League Phase of the competition will be online ONLY. For the later stages of debates it is hoped to hold some face-to-face debates where possible. This is dependent on health and safety guidelines and government advice. Participating schools will be informed of any updates.

A new system for uploading and adjudicating online debates will be launched in October 2021. Training and guidance will be provided for participating schools and adjudicators before the competition begins.

All schools will get the chance to take part in three* unique debates and learn about development issues and the work of Concern.

In the 2021/2022 school year, the Concern Debates programme will be fully funded by Irish Aid and schools will not be asked to pay a registration fee. 

*Please note the change to the number of debates in the 2021-2022 League Phase.

Please get in touch if you have questions or need more information.

Adjudicators at the 2018 Concern Debates Final. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Adjudicators at the 2018 Concern Debates Final. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debates 2017-2018 Semi Final Adjudicators (L-R Emmanuel George, Sandra Marie Donohoe, Marie Griffin. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debates 2017-2018 Semi Final Adjudicators. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debate finalists 2019. Photo: Concern Worldwide.
Concern Debate finalists 2019. Photo: Concern Worldwide.
St. Kilian's German School at the Concern Debate Finals 2018. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.
St. Killian's German School at the Concern Debate Finals 2018. Photo: Ruth Medjber / Concern Worldwide.

Stages explained

Here are the several stages of the Concern Debates.

Registration

Registration for the Concern Debates usually begins before schools close for the summer holidays and continues into early September. Please note that completing the registration form does not automatically guarantee a place on the programme. A Concern Debates staff member will be in touch to let you know if your application is successful. Then your Debates journey can begin!

League Phase

Knockout Stage

Quarter Finals

Semi Finals

National Finals

Our debaters have their say

Some of our past debaters talk us through how the Concern Debates gave them valuable life skills, while also offering words of wisdom to current debaters.

Video training

New to Debating? Not sure how to structure your speech and gain top marks? Check out the students from Portmarnock Community School below. The full training series can be followed on YouTube or our materials page.

Each video highlights where the students are getting marked and are a good introduction to get acquainted with the marking sheet.

I’ve learned a lot of new skills. Last year, I was stuttering over myself while making an English presentation. Now I can go into a room and speak in front of 100 people and not be nervous at all.

2017 debate participant
Nothing Kills Like Hunger appeal

Help families facing their biggest threat yet: hunger

  • Today, more than 800 million people in the world are battling hunger

  • 60% of the world’s hungry people live in conflict zones

  • We're committed to staying and supporting those who need it most

  • We can’t un-detonate a bomb but your donation will help provide life-saving food

Donate now
Share your concern
Share