Castleknock College Union

1961-62 Debating Society

Junior House

May 14, 1962
1961-62 Debating Society -


Director - REV. R. CROWLEY, C.M.

President - R. Aalders. Hon. Secretary - R. Cudmore.

Committee - J. Barry, E. Maughan, B. McGinley, B. Browne.

IT is with a feeling of success that we look back of the past debating year. It was directed by Fr. Crowley and to him we owe a special vote of thanks for the trouble he went to to make this debating year one to remember. In the course of the year we discovered a great interest in the Debating Society among the younger members of the house. This revealed an up-and-coming talent in the College.

On the 23rd September a meeting was held to elect the committee. To start off the season we had a parachute type of debate on Sunday, 1st October. There were many speakers upholding their favourite personalities, and it ended with a tie for first place between Tom Kirby, who spoke for Floyd Patterson, and Brian McGinley, who spoke for James Dillon, but Adam Faith was given the parachute by popular vote ! In a debate on "The Constituency of Castleknock" on Saturday, 14th October, Dan MacCarthy was named as the best speaker and he was for Fianna Fail. The house decided in favour of Fine Gael by 25 votes to 5. On Sunday the 22nd October, a meeting was held to discuss whether "The Colour bar should be abolished completely." It was a very successful debate and the motion was carried by 40 votes to 25. Richard Aalders was deemed the best speaker. A question time was held on Sunday, 29th October. Dan MacCarthy, with full marks, received first place. A debate on historical characters was held on 18th November. Bernard Browne, who spoke onĀ· Gregory the Great, won.

The second term was started with a panel debate and the committee were on the panel. There were questions about such things as Telefis Eireann, Modern Music, the Educational System in Ireland and England, and Athletic Records. The audience also spoke and it turned out to be a very interesting debate. A Third Year debate was held on the 31st January. The motion was "That modern languages should replace dead languages." B. McGinley was awarded first place and D. Costello was runner up. " Castleknock boys lack initiative" was the motion for debate on the 27th February. It ended with a tie for first place between Brian McGinley and Richard Aalders. An Impromptu Debate was held on the 21st March. This was a very successful debate and there was a tie for first place between E. Fitzpatrick, M. Kelly and E. Gavin. On the 27th March a Second Year debate was held. The motion was: "Should corporal punishment be abolished?" 2A were for the motion and T. Grant was awarded first place with B. Browne as runner-up. The last debate before the Medal Debate was held on the 6th April. "Irish transport is second to none" was the motion for debate. At the end of the debate it was thrown open to the house who decided in favour of the motion. First place was given to B. McGovern.


The Society held its annual' Medal Debate on Monday, 14th May. The motion for discussion was: "That civilization is not progressive." The following spoke: B. McGovern opened for the motion. He said that art had disimproved and that there are no painters as in medieval times. J. O'Connor, against the motion, told us that there has been great medical and sanitary improvements and that transport facilities are much better. B. Browne defended the motion by saying that most of the inventions nowadays, such as the atom bomb, are made to cause destruction. B. O'Meara, opposing the motion, informed us that parents will know what is wrong with their children if they are sick, on account of such advances in Science. T. Connolly, for the motion, said that we need unity in the world if we want progress. J. Kelly, attacking the motion, told us that societies for the prevention of cruelty to children and animals show progress. B. McGinley, defending the motion, said that we are becoming more uncivilized in the present day and he told us about the tortures used in the Second World War. T. Walshe, against the motion, informed us of the growth of America in Jess than 400 years, and also that Africa is becoming more civilized.

R. Aalders, for the motion, said that we are hypocrites to think that we are civilized. He also told us that since man has achieved so many things he thinks he is civilized, but real progress is shown by the moral progress of man. T. Kirby, opposing the motion, explained how people used to die from small cuts before, but nowadays they put on some antiseptic and forgot about the cut. D. MacCarthy, who was last to speak for the motion, said that Castleknock may be civilized but the Amazon jungle is not civilized and there are far more people there than in Castleknock. E. Maughan, who was the last person to speak, said that transport has improved and that the mechanical heart shows great progress. Mr. G. Cooney, who kindly presided, adjudged Richard Aalders to have won the Medal.

The motion was thrown open to the house, and the majority voted in its favour.

List of debates held during the year;-

  • 1st October, a parachute debate.
  • 14th October, " The Constituency of Castleknock."
  • 22nd October, "The Colour-bar should be abolished."
  • 29th October, a question time.
  • 18th November, a debate on historical characters.
  • 29th November, " Is the setting up of Irish Television worth while."
  • 24th January, a panel debate.
  • January 31st, "That modern languages should replace dead languages."
  • 27th February, "That Castleknock boys lack initiative."
  • 20th March, an Impromptu debate.
  • 27th March, " Should corporal punishment be abolished? "
  • 6th April, "Irish transport is second to none."
  • 14th May, " That civilization is not progressive."

The society's gratitude is due to an enterprising and energetic committee whose efforts contributed greatly to the work of the year.

Ronald Cudmore (Hon. Sec.).