The Irish Times Debate Final

The Irish Times is delighted to present the highly anticipated Final of The Irish Times Debate 2023/24. It will feature some of Ireland's leading young debaters, who have successfully made it to the ultimate round of this year's competition.

Hosted by the UCD Literary & Historical Society (UCD L&H), the details of The Irish Times Debate Final are below:

- Date: Friday, February 23rd
- Time: 6:30pm sharp
- Venue: FitzGerald Debating Chamber, UCD Student Centre, University College Dublin
- Dress: Black tie

The Chairperson for the Debate Final is Chief Justice of Ireland Donal O'Donnell (The Irish Times Debate team winner 1978, UCD LawSoc).

Motion for the Final

This House Believes referendums are no way to run a country

History of the Debate

The Irish Times Debate is the oldest intervarsity debating competition in Ireland and considered to be the most prestigious. It has been running continuously since 1960. The competition was set up when the Union of Students in Ireland approached The Irish Times and asked them to consider running a competition similar to the British Observer Mace (renamed the John Smith Memorial Mace since 1995).

The competition is an all island debating championship open to any full time third-level student and has been since its inception. The objective of the competition is to promote excellence in oratory and debating. During each semi-final 12 speakers compete and three from each round (one individual and one team of two) go through to take part in the final.