Over the years Sligo Grammar School has been involved in debating and public speaking. In recent years both have become popular and this year we set up SGS DebSoc. The Society meets every week in the Khansama. Ms Hynes is the teacher in charge and she teaches the students the skills of public speaking and debating. The school enters competitions during the year as well as having lunchtime debates in the Library. These debates are open to the rest of the school and are always well attended.
The competitions we enter include:
in recent years Sligo Grammar School has entered the West of Ireland Debating competition. This competition is a Mace/Parliamentary-style debating competition and requires a very different set of debating skills. It is run by NUIG who organise workshops as well as the debates themselves. The students find this kind of debating very exciting. Teams are generally taken from TY, 5th year and 6th year.
This year our team of Russell Nairn and Niamh Kilroy got through to the Finals of the competition but could not attend the final - which was held in SGS - because of their mock exams. Bad timing!
Russell also qualified for the National Trials of the Team Ireland Debating Team. Unfortunately he did not get onto the National team, but we were very proud of his achievement.
Our TY team along with some Seniors went along to Galway to compete in the Cambridge Schools Debating competition. The debates were very exciting and our new debaters did very well, though did not emerge as winners.
A new competition was inaugurated this year. The local Europe Direct office ran a debate for local schools . It was sponsored by the Sligo County Council and was held in the Council chamber.
Our team of TY students argued a very difficult motion valiantly but did not win the judges over, emerging as runners-up. The motion was "This House Believes that Volunteering does make a difference" and we were arguing against it - particularly difficult as Sligo is European Volunteering Capital for 2017!
Hopefully this is only the first of many Europe Direct Debates
Sligo Grammar School has had great success in the Soapbox Public Speaking Competition. We have had National Finalists from the school for the past three years. Last year Jude Perry was the Regional representative at the National Finals at the National Concert Hall. In previous years Russell Nairn and Rowan Kelleher were the National Finalists from the region. This competition is run by Europe Direct and each competitor had to deliver a three-minute speech on a specific topic.
This competition has become popular within the school in the last few years. Contestants must perform two poems, one from a prescribed list and one of his or her own choice. This year one of our 5th year students, Russell Nairn and Isabelle Norris (TY) made it through to the Regional finals with Russell progressing to the National Finals in Dublin. Last year one of our students, Melissa Cryan, also made it to the All Ireland Final which took place in the National Library of Ireland. Although she did not win outright it was quite a achievement to make to the final and we are all very proud!
This is a competition for girls organised by the Business and Professional Women's Association, Galway. The task is for a team of three to conduct a mock meeting around a topic of their own choice. One girl acts as chairperson, one as guest speaker and one as voter of thanks. It is an unusual and intriguing competition. Sligo Grammar School has entered it for the last two years, winning Best Chairperson on both occasions, Maeve Mohan winning in 2014 and Amy McSharry winning in 2015.