19 May 2023
Entertaining Tipperary Debate to mark Ireland’s 50 years of EU membership
A lively and entertaining debate was held in the Horse and Jockey on ‘Europe Day’ 9th May to mark Ireland’s 50 years of EU membership since our decision to join the then EEC in 1972.
Tipperary County Council’s Economic Development team were successful in securing funding for this event through the Department of Foreign Affairs ‘EU 50’ programme, and partnered with the North and South Branches of Tipperary Macra Na Feirme to debate the motion ‘Membership of the EU may be our greatest protection from today’s challenges’.
Opening welcomes were given by the County Cathaoirleach Roger Kennedy, Councillor Michael Murphy and Head of the Irish Delegation on the Committee of the Regions. Kathleen Prendergast, Tipperary County Council set the scene giving the background to EU Day, and giving the context for the evening.
The debate moderator Elaine Houlihan of Macra then introduced both debating teams, as well as the time keeper for the evening Christine O’Neill, and the event got started.
Proposing the motion was a team from South Tipperary Macra branch comprising Anita Lonergan, Mary McCarthy, Edel Ryan and Tom Long.
Opposing the motion, the North Tipperary Macra team included Bill Gleeson, Sean Kelly, William Clancy and Reanne O’Dwyer.
An excellent showcase of debating skills ensued and an increase of knowledge on this important topic, for everyone present. The Ryan youth orchestra duet entertained everybody with beautiful music during a half time interval which allowed the adjudicating process to happen.
The adjudicating panel on the night was chaired by Cathaoirleach of the County Council Roger Kennedy, Sherine Prendergast Presentation Secondary School Thurles and former Macra National Debate winner, and Olga Brodescu, Adjudicator with Concern Global Debates.
Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive Tipperary County Council also addressed the room, before the winning team was announced. Joe commented how Tipperary was in safe hands with the depth of talent on display that evening.
On the night the opposing team from North Tipperary Macra branch were deemed to be the winners, successfully opposing the motion. Best speaker for the evening was awarded to Edel Ryan, of the Proposing team.
Beautiful EU50 medallions were commissioned from John Quirke Jewellers in Cahir for all participants, and the winning team also each received a crystal trophy. EU 50 medallions were also presented to Mike Wall of Macra TDO for the Tipperary area, Cathaoirleach Cllr. Roger Kennedy and Chief Executive Joe MacGrath.
Elaine Cullinan, Tipperary County Council closed out the evening’s event, by thanking everyone for attending and supporting the event, the debating teams themselves in particular for all their efforts in making the event a success.
EU50 is a whole of Government programme led by the Department of Foreign Affairs along with the Department of the Taoiseach and involving local communities, industry, academia, cultural institutions and civil society. It is hoped that the EU50 programme will provide for reflection, celebration, debate and exchange on Ireland in the European Union. You can learn more about EU50 and the programme so far here: www.ireland.ie/EU50