Post Primary

Díospóireachtaí an Phiarsaigh



Comórtas Díospóireachta an Phiarsaigh is a debating competition for postprimary schools, where subjects are not taught through the Irish language (See General Rule 1).

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 teachers entering teams could avail of the opportunity to involve the whole class. This could be done in various ways:

  • 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 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 up to regional level.

After the closing date for entries a schedule of dates and venues for the first round of debates is drawn up. This schedule is sent to all teachers who have entered teams in the competition. The venues and dates on this schedule cannot be changed. Should any team/teams withdraw from any event, that event will proceed with whatever number of teams remains.

Four Regional Finals are organised after a number of rounds [depending on the total number of teams taking part]. One team from each of these regional events progresses directly to the National Finals, which usually take place sometime in the spring.

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 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.


Individual plaques are awarded to each speaker on each team taking part in the Regional Finals. The members of each winning team at the Regional Finals will also receive a half scholarship to one of Gael Linn's Irish language summer colleges.
Perpetual Cups (Junior and 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.



General Rules
1. The competition is open to post primary schools excluding gaelcholáistí and gaeltacht schools.
2. The competition is divided into a junior section and a senior section.
3. The junior section is open to Junior Certificate Students.
4. The senior section is open to Leaving Certificate and Transition Year students.
5. A school may enter no more than one junior and/or one senior team.
6. An entry fee of €15.00 is payable for each team and teams must register online at the top of this page, not later than the 1 October 2019. Payment is made at time of registration where possible, but invoices can be issued where required.
7. The adjudicators decision is final at each debate.
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. Debates can take place anytime between 4 p.m. and 7.30 p.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 speakers 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 debate to the floor.

Some teams in the competition may have to travel fairly long distances to events, especially as they progress through the various rounds. From the third round onwards, a small contribution towards travel costs is paid to teams who have to travel long distances. 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 different travel subvention applies.

Marking System
100 marks are alloted to each speaker and divided as follows

SECTIONS Team Captain
(100 points)
Speaker 2
(100 points)
Speaker 3
(100 points)
Team Work
(20 points)
Definition and setting out position  20

Ideas     40

Rebuttal 20 

Presentation 25

Fluency in Irish 15

Total per Speaker


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.

Tomás Ó Cadhla, Gael Linn, 35 Sráid an Dáma, Baile Átha Cliath 2.
01.6753300 087.7474927 R-phost:
Coláiste Pobail Átha Luain - Curaidh an Phiarsaigh 2019 - Sóisear
Coláiste Chill Chainnigh - Curaidh an Phiarsaigh 2019 - Sinsear