Post Primary

Comórtas Díospóireachta an Phiarsaigh


Comórtas Díospóireachta an Phiarsaigh is a debating competition for English Medium Post-Primary schools. 
The Aim of the Competition 
The main aim of Gael Linn's schools' debating competition is to promote the use of Irish in schools and among young people. We suggest that teachers entering teams could use the debates as an opportunity to involve the whole class whilst teaching the language. This could be done in various ways. For example: 

·       Putting the whole class to work researching the motion for debate and having a class discussion; 

·       Making the motion the subject of a class essay and having a class discussion on the various points raised in the essays; 

·       Encouraging the class to attend the debate and preparing some students who will not be on the debating team to ask questions from the floor at the end of the formal debate. 

Organisation of the Competition 
There are two levels in the competition, a Junior Section for Junior Certificate students and a Senior Section for Leaving Certificate students, including transition year.
Up to four teams take part in each debate, with two teams progressing to the next round.
A schedule of dates and venues will be sent to all teachers who have entered teams in the competition. The venues and dates on this schedule will not be changed. Should any team/teams withdraw from the competition, the debate will proceed with whatever number of teams remains. 
Four Regional Finals will be organised after the first or second round [depending on the total number of teams taking part].
How to enter a team 

An entry fee of €15.00 is payable for each team and teams must register online at the top of this page. Payment is made at the time of registration where possible, but invoices can be issued where required. Entries must be received by the 22nd September 2023.

The Teams 
Teams consist of three speakers, with up to four teams competing in each debate. All members of a team must argue the same side of the motion. The team captain speaks first and must define the motion and explain the stance of his/her team, as well as making his/her own points. Team captains do not speak a second time.
It is essential that a substitute speaker be included in each team from the start, in case one of the three is not available on the day of a debate.
A small contribution towards travel costs is paid to teams who have to travel long distances from Round 3 onwards. Teams travelling to venues over 50 miles from their school receive a contribution of €30, while those who travel to venues more than 100 miles away receive €60.
For teams competing in the National Finals a more substantial travel subvention applies. 

Gael Linn reserves the right to use any photographic or video material recorded at Gael Linn events in future publicity having received prior permission to take photographs from schools. 
Gael-Linn's Public Liability Insurance Policy covers all of our events. At these events, however, Gael Linn is a facilitator rather than a supervisor and students must at all times be under the supervision of a teacher or adult nominated by their school or organisation. 
General Rules 
1. The competition is open to post primary schools where subjects are taught through Irish. 
2. The competition is divided into a junior section and a senior section. 
3. The junior section is open to Junior Certificate Students (Under 16 on 1 Jan 2024 for students from the 6 Counties of Northern Ireland). 
4. The senior section is open to Leaving Certificate and Transition Year students. (Under 19 on 1 Jan 2024 for students from the 6 Counties of Northern Ireland). 
5. A school may enter no more than one junior and/or one senior team. 
6. An entry fee of €15.00/£15.00 is payable for each team. 
7. The adjudicators decision is final at all debates. 
8. The organisers endeavour to ensure that times, dates and venues of debates are arranged to suit competitors. However, the schedule of events, once fixed, cannot be changed. The majority of debates start at 4.30p.m. or 5.00p.m. 

Preparing for Debate 
9. The wording of the motion is made available to teams at least one week before each debate.
Order of Speakers and Speaking Time 
10. The captains of each team speak first followed by the second speaker from each team and finally the third speaker from each team. [A1, B1, C1, D1, A2, B2, C2, D2, A3, B3, C3, D3]
11. In the junior section each speaker has three minutes, while in the senior section each speaker has four minutes. 
12. A bell is sounded when the speaker has one minute left and again when the allotted time is up. Speakers are not awarded marks after the second bell and may even lose marks if they continue for an unreasonable length of time. 
Control of the Debate 
13. All contributions must be addressed through the Chair and the Chair's ruling is final. 
14. Speakers may not be interrupted. At the end of the debate, the Chair may open the motion to the floor.

Individual plaques are awarded to each speaker on each team taking part in the Regional Finals.
Corn Uisne (Junior) and the Gael Linn Perpetual Cup (Senior) are presented to the winning teams at the National Finals. The winning teams in both sections are awarded prizes to the value of €1000. All other teams in the finals are awarded prizes to the value of €250. 
All participants receive a certificate recognising the level to which they have progressed in the competition. 
Marking System 
Speakers may earn up to 100 points each and a further 20 points is available for team work: 



Team Captain 
(100 points) 

Speaker 2 
(100 points) 

Speaker 3 
(100 points) 

Team Work 
(20 points) 

Summary and setting out position





Quality of points raised





















Total per speaker 







Lauren Ní Mhaoileanaigh | 087 057 8801 

Gael Linn, 35 Sráid an Dáma, Baile Átha Cliath 2. D02 H797 

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