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Concern Primary Debate Information 2023/2024

CONCERN Debates Project Information 

Concern Debates (@ConcernDebates) / Twitter


List of Schools participating in 2023/2024 Project

Round 1:  To be completed between 9th October – 27th October 2023

Motion: All children in Ireland should have the right to a local playground

Proposing                                                                     Opposing

 A:   Scoil Ghormáin Naofa Castletown                    Vs St Mary's Ballygarrett     

 B:   Barntown NS                                                                      Vs St. Kevin's, Tara Hill        

 C:    Bunscoil Loreto                                                               Vs  Scoil Eoin Baiste, Galbally 

 D:    Danescastle NS                                                             Vs  St. Fintan's N.S. Mayglass – 5/6th 

 E:     Scoil Iosagáin Coolgreany                                     Vs  Scoil Mhuire Horeswood  


Round 2: To be completed between 8th November - 1st December 2023

Motion: Getting rid of plastic pollution in our oceans is just a dream 

A: Scoil Eoin Baiste, Galbally                   Vs  Danescastle NS   

B:  Scoil Mhuire Horeswood                     Vs St Mary's Ballygarrett   

C: St. Kevin's, Tara Hill        

Round 3: To be completed between 1st December -26th January 2024

Motion: Electric cars are the best way for countries to reduce their emissions

A: Ballygarrett (proposing)                   Vs    St. Kevin's, Tara Hill (opposing)

B: Danacastle       (proposing)             Vs     St. Kevin's, Tara Hill (opposing)

Regional Final To be completed between 26th January – 19th February 2024

 A: Tara Hill (proposing)                   Vs  St Mary's NS Ballygarrett (opposing)

Tara's Hill Team

Captain – Tierna Keating

2nd speaker – Charlie Kavanagh

3RD speaker – Grace Peakin

Rebuttal/research team – Doireann O’Keeffe, Finn O’Brien, Anais Faye-Lohou


Ballygarrett's Team

Captain: Eoghan Murphy

2nd Speaker - Senan Power 

3rd Speaker - Ella Shortt 

Ballygarrett NS emerged as the regional champions following a hard-fought contest against Tara Hill NS.

National Round

  • In March, the Quarter Finals will take place. These will be held in-person in mid-way venues arranged by the Concern Debates team.
  • The Semi-Finals will take place in-person in Dublin in April 2024.
  • The Final will take place in the Helix, Dublin on May 2nd 2024.


List of Schools participating in 2022/2023 Project

Please see the list of schools who are taking part in our 2022/2023 Debates Project. Best of luck to all our schools.

S N Chaomhain Torrchoill -Tara hill
St Brigid's NS, Carlow
Barntown NS
Danescastle NS
Coolgraney NS
Wexford Educate Together NS
Bunscoil Loreto
Galbally NS
Scoil Ghormáin Naofa
Carysford NS - 5th Class
Carysford NS - 6th Class
Screen NS
Glenbrien NS
Sheilbaggin NS

Round 1

Motion: School Uniforms are a thing of the past

Proposing     Opposing Winning School
Scoil Mhuire, Bartown Tarahill NS Scoil Mhuire, Barntown
Carysfort NS – 5th Class Glenbrien NS Glenbrien NS
Carysfort NS – 6th Class  Shielbaggan NS Shielbaggan NS
Danescastle NS Coolgreaney NS Danescastle NS
Wexford Educate Together NS     Bunscoil Loreto              Bunscoil Loreto
St Brigid's NS, Carlow Galbally NS Galbally NS
Screen NS  Scoil Ghormáin Naofa         Scoil Ghormáin Naofa

Quarter Final

Motion: All schools should be Gaelscoileanna

Proposing Opposing Winning School
Bunscoil Loreto Scoil Mhuire, Barntown  Barntown NS
Scoil Ghormáin Naofa Danescastle NS Danescastle NS
Glenbrien NS Shielbaggan NS  
Galbally NS   BYE

Semi Finals

Motion:          Fines should be implemented for households wasting food.

Barntown NS vs Glenbrien NS                    Winner: Glenbrien NS

Danescastle NS vs Galbally NS                 Winner: Danescastle NS

Our regional final date is March 03rd 2023 at 11am online. 

Regional Final Motion:
The SDGs are a waste of time.
Proposing school - Danescastle NS
Opposing school - Glenbrien NS

Concern have many resources available to help teachers and students prepare for this motion which can be found online

The National debating competition will start the week of March 27th 2023.

Best of luck to everyone.


Concern Worldwide coordinates the Primary Debates in conjunction with Education Support Centres across Ireland. Debating is a fun, educational way of encouraging your students to engage with current affairs and development topics. Debating teaches students how to think critically and prepare an argument using facts and sound research. It also teaches students valuable communication skills and builds confidence. Debates teams consist of 3 speakers, however the debates work really well when you can make it a whole class activity. The Concern Primary Debates Competition is comprised of a regional stage where schools debate online against schools in their local areas. The regional winners will then progress on to the national competition. The national competition will consist of in person debates where possible for the 2022-2023 school year.


Concern Gallery 2023







Concern Debates Project 2021-2022

National finalists were Ardfield NS in Clonakilty, Cork and  St. Francis Xavier NS, Blanchardstown. This year’s debate final was held in Dublin on June 16th. 

Victory for Ardfield NS from West Cork

Pupils from Ardfield NS in Clonakilty, Cork claimed victory in the final in front of an audience of 100 people of teachers, pupils and special guest including representatives from Concern Worldwide and Irish Aid.

The event was also streamed live on YouTube




We are delighted with the sucess of the CONCERN Debates Project this academic year. Congratulations and thank you to all teachers and pupils involved in the project. Your involvment continues to make this project the sucess that it continues to be.

A special word of congratulations to our Regional Finalists this year, Danescastle NS & St. Anne's NS, Rathangan.

Danescastle NS emerged victorious from this final on Monday 28th March. Thank you very much to both schools.  

We wish Danescastle every sucess in the upcoming National Finals to be held in the coming weeks.

Our 2 Schools Through to Final 2021-2022

Final to be Completed Between  28th January – 11th March 2021

Motion:  Shopping Local Must Become The New Normal   

       Proposing                                                   Opposing         

Danescastle NS          Vs          St. Annes NS, Rathangan 


List of Schools Through to Semi Final

Semi  Final :  To be completed between 16th December  – 14th  January 2022

Motion:  We Need To Pay More For Our Clothes To Fight Fast Fashion 

   Proposing                                         Opposing

  Tara Hill NS, Gorey      Vs         Danescastle NS    

  St. Annes NS, Rathangan        Vs         St. Brigid’s NS, Grange    

List of Schools Through to Round 2

Quarter Final:  To be completed between 8th November – 3rd December

Motion:  Sustainable Cities Should Have Free, Regular Public Transport Available To Everyone

A:         Danescastle NS                         Vs           B:     Bunscoil Loreto NS                                                                 

C:          Barnstown NS                            Vs           D:     Rathangan NS

E:         St. Brigid’s NS, Grange          Vs            F:      Scoil Mhuire, Horeswood

G:        Gallbally NS                                 Vs             H:      Tara Hill NS

List of Schools participating in 2021/2022 Project

Please see the list of schools who are taking part in our 2021/2022 Debates Project. Best of luck to all our schools.

   Scoil Mhuire, Horeswood                        

   Davidstown NS                                   

   Bunscoil Loreto                               

  Carysfort NS                                      

  St. Mary’s NS                                                                                          

 SN Fionntain                                        

Court NS                                             

Galbally NS      

St. Brigid’s NS, Grange       

Ballythomas NS     

 Danescastle NS  

Carnew NS

Tara Hill NS

Rathangan NS

AN Mhuire, Barntown  NS                            

Glenbrien NS

MOTIONS 2021/2022

  • Tik Tok has done more harm than good for young people’s confidence 
  • Sustainable cities should have free, regular public transport available to everyone 
  • We need to pay more for our clothes to fight fast fashion 
  • Shopping local must become the new normal 
  • Billionaires should not go to space
  • Sport’s stars are bad role models for children 

Dates of each Round

Round 1 – Monday 4th October 2021 – Friday 5th November 2021

  • Tik Tok has done more harm than good for young people’s confidence 

Quarter Final – 8th  November 2021 – 3rd  December 2021

  • Sustainable Cities Should Have Free, Regular Public Transport Available To Everyone

Semi Final – 6th  December 2021 – 14th January 2022

  • We need to pay more for our clothes to fight fast fashion

Final - 17th January 2022 – 11th February 2022

  • Shopping local must become the new normal

All debates to be completed by 18th February.

Please see Primary Debates 2021/2022 calendar:

Please see Primary Debates 2021/2022 Handbook

 Please see Primary Debates Introductory Video

2020/2021 concern debates

We are delighted to confirm the following schools are taking part in this year's competition 2020/2021 .Our first round of debates begins on the 6th of November with the motion "The Voting age should be lowered to 16 ". Best of luck to all our schools.
  • Danecastle NS
  • Rathangan NS 
  • S.N. Mhuire Barntown
  • Scoil Mhuire Rosslare 
  • Murrintown NS 
  • Castletown NS 

Congratulations to all the schools that took part in this year's competition. We wish to thank the teachers, students and adjudicators who had to adapt to the new online format this year, from the tweets we received there were  some incredible battles during the competition stages . We congratulate Rathangan NS and S.N. Mhuire Barnstown who have made it to the final . We look forward to the final debate as soon as possible. 

2019/2020 Concern Debates 

The following schools took part in the 2019/2020 competition 

  • Barntown NS
  • Tara Hill NS
  • Danecastle NS
  • Murrintown NS
  • Rosslare NS
  • Scoil Eoin BaistNS,Galbally
  • Scoil Ghormain Naofa
  • St Josephs NS
  • Tombrack NS
  • Bunscoil Loreto, Gorey
  • Mercy NS Wexford
  • Mayglass NS
  • Cushinstown NS
  • Court NS
  • Davidstown NS

They competed against each other on a range of different motions provided by Concern. Congratulations to all the schools who took part, we hope you all enjoyed yourselves and that participating in debates is something you will continue to do in Post-Primary school. Thank you to all the adjudicators,teachers and students for the wonderful work you did in making this such an enjoyable competition for everyone concerned.

This year due to the Covid 19 pandemic, we did not get a chance to have our Primary Concern Debate Final in the Education Centre as planned. The two schools who were due to compete against each other on the following motion 'Young people should be allowed to vote at 16" are Castletown NS and Mercy NS, Wexford.



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Concern Debate Structure
Each school is asked to provide a minimum of 2 adjudicators. The schools engage in the Garda vetting process with the chosen adjudicators.
Adjudicators will be assigned to each debate by the respective schools. However, if for some reason the assigned adjudicators are unavailable, the onus is on the home school to contact neutral adjudicators.
Three students per team: 
Speaker 2
Speaker 3 

Each person has 3 minutes for their speech with the Captain speaking twice (once at beginning and once at the end)

We recommend schools have a panel of six students at least in case of illness

Only three students may debate three students on the day of the debate

Schools may have subs and have the whole class involved helping to research motions, acting as timekeeper and /or chairperson

Subject to receiving enough entries the competition will be in a group format.

Debate topics, which have been set by Concern, for all group round debates will be issued in advance of the competition commencing.
Concern will be organising a national competition so the winners of the Competition will qualify for entry to the National Round.

Schools must agree the time and date of each debate - subject to staying within the designated deadline.

Practice debate(s) can be organised between schools in October - practice debate topic is “Homework is a waste of time for primary school students”

Concern have resources available to help with preparing for the debates -" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-family: Roboto, RobotoDraft, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 1.25rem; white-space: pre-wrap;"> videos etc.

They also have a new video for adjudicator training located here" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-family: Roboto, RobotoDraft, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 1.25rem; white-space: pre-wrap;"> Please encourage all adjudicators to watch this to ensure they understand the process.

Concern have limited spaces for workshops, teachers can contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to secure a visit.