On Thursday 16th November three of our students Rhys Mahony (5th year), Patrick Ferris (5th Year) and Eve Mongey (TY) travelled to participate in the IT Carlow Open Day Debating Competition. This one day competition, in conjunction with their Open Day event, was sponsored by the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland and promised a cash prize of 500euro for the winner and 250euro for the runner-up. The debate competition was organised by the IT Carlow Department of the Built Environment and as such, the motions for debate were construction-focused.

In the Preliminary Round, there were 3 rooms with 8 teams in each debating the same motion, ‘This House believes that we can trust our construction experts’. In each room 4 teams proposed the motion and 4 teams opposed the motion. Our first two speakers Rhys and Patrick did a sterling job of convincing the adjudicators that yes, we CAN trust our construction experts, even including a little humour about the 3 Little Pigs and their choice of building materials!

From this pool of 24 teams, Fingal CC progressed to the Semi-Final round with 6 teams thrashing out the motion, ‘This House believes that there is no ‘glass ceiling’ for women in construction’. This was a very lively round with many arguments pertaining to gender stereotypes, harassment, choice, options and barriers to career progression. Our team in this round were Patrick and Eve who again represented the school superbly. Special mention to Eve who, in her first ever debate for Fingal CC, was phenomenal at hammering home the point that women from a young age are conditioned to believe that construction is NOT the place for them. We hope to have Eve on our team for our future Concern Debates along with Patrick and Rhys!

Unfortunately at this stage, Fingal CC was not one of the two teams which progressed to the Final Round. However, we could not be more proud of how the students conducted themselves in a competition with far more experienced teams. The students handled the style of debating with ‘Points of Information’ very well, as well as debating a topic (construction) that may not have been on their radar prior to this. We take this experience as a learning curve and we hope to be back bigger and better next year!