Castleknock College Union

1916 Centenary Debate - the Photos

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Apr 28, 2016
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The Union was delighted to host the first of what it is hoped will become an annual debate between past, present and guests.

The Motion was “That this House should celebrate the 1916 Rising”.

Michael Collins, class '74, SC, former Chairman of the Bar Council and 1999 President of the Union; Prof. Eunan O’ Halpin, Professor of Contemporary Irish History at Trinity College Dublin and 6th year student Tom Jordan proposed the Motion with Paul Gallagher, class '72, SC, former Attorney General; Patsy McGarry, Religious Affairs Correspondent at the Irish Times and 6th year student Joe O’ Boyle opposing. Brian O’Connell, class '71, ex RTE London Correspondent did an excellent job in front of a packed hall in keeping an enthusiastic group of speakers (both from the floor and otherwise!) in check.

Suspicions of a fifth column arose with the novel argument adopted by Eunan along the lines of if we don't celebrate it, the 'Shinners' will! That and a tour de force from Paul Gallagher following an equally effective pitch from Patsy McGarry saw the motion defeated, but not before Michael Collins mesmerized all with a presentation on his grandfather who fought with distinction in the Rising, and survived to attend 1971 Union Day celebrations. Congratulations also to Tom and Joe who more than held their own in such august company.

You can catch a video of the proceedings here.

A nice feature of the evening was the number of past men who brought partners, children or other guests along, and used the occasion of the debate to give them a guided tour of their old stomping ground. This is something the College warmly encourages and so we expect this event will emerge as a well-attended annual fixture on the Union calendar.