Castleknock College Union

Debating Gold Medal at Knock

Brady Centenary Medal

May 17, 2016
Debating Gold Medal at Knock -

Patrick J. Brady, M.P.

The minutes of the 1908 Debating Society at Knock concluded with:

Continuing, the Rev. President said that during the session many great questions had been settled. The spirit of Napoleon was laid to rest; the Sinn Fein policy was rejected; as was the execution of Charles I. He took the opportunity of telling the members of the Society that a more valuable prize would be competed for next year as a past pupil of the College had promised to give each year a large gold medal.

That past pupil was Patrick J. Brady, class 1885, who was then a prominent Dublin solicitor who served as President of the Incorporated Law Society and as M.P. for the Stephens Green division. He was a loyal past man and an inaugural member of the 1896 committee that led to the formation of the Castleknock College Union under the presidency of Charles, Baron Russell of Killowen. In 1935 he replenished that bursary to mark the centenary of the founding of the College. He died in 1944. The medal then became known as the 'Brady Centenary Medal' and has been debated for almost every year since.

In 1935 it was also decided that the first three years of the House should have their own Junior Gold Medal debate. In 1970 post the departure of 1st & 2nd years to their newly built 'Junior School', an Intermediate Debating Society for 3rd & 4th years emerged. It initially prospered but lapsed in the early 80's until revived by an energetic new English Professor, one James H. Murphy, C.M., who when a pupil at the College won the 1976 medal. In 2006 in recognition of the new Junior Certificate and Transition Year structure, it was decided to revert back to the model of a Senior and Junior Society.

The Castleknock Chronicle was first produced in 1886 and it is our primary source for ascertaining medal winners. It however only documents medal winners with any regularity from 1928 onwards with the introduction of what was then the new Leaving Certificate syllabus. The early recipients of the Oratory Medal, as it was known in the 19th century, are thus only known to the possessors of those family heirlooms.

Subject to those limitations, listed below are the known Debating Gold Medal recipients.

Amongst other things it highlights one Walter J. Treanor as the first to secure back to back Brady Centenary Medals in 1939 & 1940. Only two past men have managed this feat since, Maurice Mason in 1980 & 1981 and Cian McGoldrick in 2013 & 2014. A number of brothers have also completed the double: Eoin Tiernan in 1983 followed by his brother Lorcan in 1987; Brian Hanrahan in 1958 and Denis in 1962; and the Whitty brothers, Richard H. in 1909 and Thomas A. in 1911 (who sadly was then killed in action, Gallipoli, 16 Aug 1915 whilst serving with the “Pals" Battalion, 7th Dublin Fusiliers). Also John Cooney won the medal in 1944, and Garrett in 1952, and that was very close to a treble for their brother Paddy was runner-up in 1948. As far as we can ascertain, our eldest living recipient is former Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave, who won the medal in 1938, and his son Liam repeated that success in 1974.

A patron is essential to the success of all such societies and the most recent pillar in that respect was Dick Wafer who taught at the College for the 37 years from 1970 through to 2007, and was patron of the Senior Debating Society for most of those years. Dick has thus fine tuned several generations of debaters, and perhaps his greatest reward for so doing, was to witness his own son Brian win the 1990 Brady Centenary Medal and the 1988 Intermediate and 1987 Junior gold medals. It would also be remiss of us not to mention two other past men who went on to be College Professors - Clement Passmore, class '62 who was patron of the Junior Debating Society over a similar time frame, and Jim McElroy, class '98 who won the Brady Centenary Medal in 1998 and in 2007 succeeded Dick as patron of said society.


Year Senior House Debate Junior House Debate Intermediate Debate
2014 McGoldrick, Cian O'Boyle, Dara
2013 McGoldrick, Cian <not awarded>
2012 McMeel, Conor Brogan, Peter
2011 Mahon, Joseph McGoldrick, Cian
2010 Breen, Killian McGoldrick, Cian
2009 Noonan, Adam Fagan, Ciaran
2008 Townsend, Liam Baigel, David
2007 Towers, Alex Fagan, Cormac  
2006 Radhakrishnan, Ashwin <not awarded> Townsend, Liam
2005 Mahon, Kevin <not awarded> <not awarded>
2004 McConnell, Kilian Townsend, Liam <not awarded>
2003 Flanagan, Eric Townsend, Liam McConnell, Kilian
2002 Weller, Martin McConnell, Kilian Reynolds, Neil
2001 Bowles, David O'Donoghue, Niall McGoldrick, Niall
2000 Moloney, Alan Stokes, Derek Bowles, David
1999 Leonard, Robert Murrin, Alan Duffy, Patrick
1998 McElroy, James Kilbane, Jonathan Moloney, Alan
1997 MacNioclais, Donal Duffy, Patrick Leonard, Robert
1996 O'Brien, Peter Moloney, Alan Barry, David
1995 McMahon, Sean Moloney, Alan MacNioclais, Donal
1994 Sheary, Michael Regan, Paul Steen, Richard
1993 Kirby, Myles Bourke, Kahlil Gunne, Andrew
1992 Farrell, Patrick O'Brien, Peter Kirby, Myles
1991 Bergin, Emmet Austin, Thomas Melvin, Edward
1990 Wafer, Brian Melvin, Edward McEvoy, Neil
1989 McCarthy, Florence Kirby, Myles O'Mahony, Jason
1988 Cox, Michael Brady, Philip Wafer, Brian
1987 Tiernan, Lorcan Wafer, Brian Campbell, John C.
1986 Quinn, Oisin Grealy, Thomas Nash, Richard
1985 Bouchier Hayes, David Fallon, Mike <not awarded>
1984 Kelly, Ian Nash, Richard <not awarded>
1983 Tiernan, Eoin Wynne, Paul <not awarded>
1982 Andrews, Fergal Quinn, Oisin <not awarded>
1981 Mason, Maurice O'Herlihy, Conal <not awarded>
1980 Mason, Maurice Snow, Peter <not awarded>
1979 Walsh, David Austin, Peter Masterson, Raoul
1978 McNestry, Hugo Dunne, Declan McCann, Patrick
1977 Collins, Timothy Masterson, Raoul Halpenny, Bernard
1976 Murphy, James H. Cooney, John Ryan, Stephen
1975 Gearty, Conor Higgins, Desmond Walsh, David
1974 Cosgrave, Liam T. Walsh, David Collins, Timothy
1973 Collins, Michael Collins, Timothy Gill, Arthur F.
1972 Lindsay, John Cosgrave, Ciaran McCann, Neil
1971 McElligott, Patrick Cosgrave, Ciaran Hay, Kevin
1970 Dillon-Leetch, John Boyle, Simon
1969 Martin, Alexander McElligott, Patrick
1968 Donelan, Edward Ryan, Dermot
1967 O'Rourke, Bernard Brady, Ronan
1966 Thompson, Robert Donelan, Edward
1965 Kelly, James Delany, Martin
1964 Gavin, Edmund Browne, Bernard
1963 O'Meara, Barry Browne, Bernard
1962 Hanrahan, Denis Aalders, Richard
1961 Garvan, Brendan Gavin, Edmund
1960 Masterson, James Dunne, Willie
1959 Phelan, William Hanrahan, Denis
1958 MacCarthy, Dermot Cheevers, Larry
1957 Hanrahan, Brian Donnellan, John
1956 Flynn, Donal Hanrahan, Brian
1955 O'Leary, Lorcan Sutton, David
1954 Gaffney, Patrick O'Leary, Lorcan
1953 O'Flynn, Patrick Langan, John
1952 Cooney, Garrett Delargy, Torlach
1951 O'Donovan, Vincent Cooney, Garrett
1950 Lowe, John McManus, Gerard
1949 Murphy, Anthony Lavery, John L.
1948 O'Byrne, Patrick O'Byrne, Michael
1947 Stanton, Robert O'Byrne, Michael
1946 McCrohan, James Loftus, Gerald
1945 Mullan, Brian O'Byrne, Patrick
1944 Cooney, John G. <not recorded>
1943 Murphy, Redmond J. <not recorded>
1942 Meagher, Barry <not recorded>
1941 <not recorded> <not recorded>
1940 Treanor, Walter J. <not recorded>
1939 Treanor, Walter J. <not recorded>
Grant, James
1938 Carbery, Brendan Hederman, Anthony
Cosgrave, Liam
1937 Byrne, James Treanor, Walter J.
1936 Brennan, Arthur O'Donoghue, Paud
1935 Ryan, James G. O'Kane, Thady
1934 <not recorded>
1933 <not recorded>
1932 <not recorded>
1931 Cleere, Gerard
1930 England, Austin
1929 Maher, Vincent
1928 Mackey, Rex
1927 <not awarded>
1926 <not awarded>
1925 Toner, Edward
1924 Kehoe, Killian
1914 <not awarded>
1913 Donovan, Thomas K.
1912 <not recorded>
1911 Whitty, Thomas A.
1910 Sheehy, John F.
1909 Whitty, Richard H.