The Irish Times Debate: Speakers prepare for 2021 final

Final of annual debate competition takes place as an outdoor event for the first time

The livestream begins at 7.15pm on Saturday 17 July. Click here (or paste the following address into your browser to view the final.

Speakers from TCD, UCC, Maynooth University, the Solicitors' Apprentice Debating Society of Ireland (Sadsi) and King's Inn will put their oratory skills to the test when they participate in the 61st Irish Times Debate Final this weekend.

The event, which is Ireland’s longest-running third-level debating competition, will take place at an outdoor black-tie event in the gardens of the Museum of Literature Ireland (MoLI), St Stephens’s Green, from 6.45pm on Saturday.

The competition will be live-streamed from this website.


The motion for the debate is ‘This House Believes privacy is dead’.

Finalists will compete for the Demosthenes and Christina Murphy Memorial trophies. The final will feature 12 speeches and each finalist will speak for 7 minutes. Speakers will be assessed across a range of competencies including the reasoning used, the examples and rebuttals offered and how well arguments are made.

The debate will be chaired by Liam Herrick, executive director, Irish Council for Civil Liberties.

The finalists are Tony O'Halloran (UCC Law Soc), Matt Mallen (UCC Law Soc), Kate Maher (TCD Phil), Megan O'Driscoll (TCD Phil), Rí Anumudu (Maynooth University), Chikemka Abuchi-Ogbonda (Maynooth University), Caoimhin Hamill (TCD Hist), Jack Synnott(TCD Hist), Daire McMullin (Sadsi), Ellen McHugh (TCD TCD Hist), Fionnán Long (King's Inn), and Gabrielle Fullam (TCD Hist)

The judges are Paul O'Neill, editor, The Irish Times (presiding), Dr David Kenny, associate professor, Law, Trinity College Dublin, Team winner 2008 Clíodhna Ní Chéileachair, individual winner 2016 Dara Keenan, team winner 2017 Aishling Kinsella, individual runner-up 2019.

Previous winners of the debate, which was first held in 1960, include broadcaster Marian Finucane, comedian Dara Ó Briain, writer Gerry Stembridge and the late Adrian Hardiman. President Michael D Higgins and former president Mary Robinson were finalists.