The University of Limerick Debating Union celebrated success at two prestigious competitions recently, with Auditor Sarah Hardiman (2nd Year Law Plus) reaching the semi-finals of the Oxford Women’s’ Open, as well as two teams from the society reaching the elimination stages of the Trinity Intervarsity 2012.
The Oxford Women’s Open was organised for the first time last year, to combat a perception of prejudice against female debaters internationally and to help encourage more women to continue to debate. Sarah was a member of one of two Irish teams to reach the semi-finals of the competition, which was attended and judged by some of the best female debaters in the world, including the Chief Adjudicators; Catherine Murphy from the College Historical Society of Trinity College Dublin and Jen Coyne of the Oxford Union, who are European Debating Championship and World Debating Championship finalists respectively.
The very next weekend was the Trinity Intervarsity, where it was the turn of Stephen Egan (4th Year Law Plus) and Lorna Bogue (2nd Year Irish Music and Dance) to reach the semi-finals. Sadly, they were drawn against our other breaking team of David Hartery (4th Year Law Plus) and Michelle Coyle (3rd Year Law and Accounting) in the quarter-finals, where only one team prevailed. However, even making it to the knock-out stages of any intervarsity is an achievement and for two Limerick teams to make it to such an advanced stage was unprecedented and fantastic. For Lorna and Michelle it was their first taste of intervarsity success and hopefully they will be speaking in front of such large crowds again soon. It should also be noticed that on an individual front, Limerick also had great success, with Stephen Egan finishing 8th best speaker overall and David Hartery finishing 3rd.