Dublin law students win John Smith Memorial Mace

A pair of law students at University College Dublin (UCD) have won the John Smith Memorial Mace at an international debating competition in London.

Aodhán Peelo and Clíodhna Ní Chéileachair, who are both studying Law with Philosophy, won a knock-out debate last Autumn and the Irish finals earlier this month before going on to triumph in London.

Robeto Sarrionandia, member of the five-strong judging panel, told UCD Societies: “Cliodhna’s strategy game was fierce, putting Ireland in a position where they could convincingly sweep up the benefits of market regulations that England had said were good, while also being able to go further and win on activist efforts that require pointing out circumstances where the market fails people.

“This left room for Aodhan to come in and throw some serious shade at the Scottish team and mop up the case for what effective social activism would look like on the ground.”

Ms Ní Chéileachair said: “Our law classes obviously help with some techniques, but debating is an art form in and of itself.

“We have weekly training in UCD from some of the world’s best coaches, and get amazing support from the University and the Societies’ Officer when it comes to attending competitions and getting the practice we need to excel.”

Mr Peelo added: “Even to have the chance to represent the university and the country abroad is such a privilege.

“To bring the trophy home to UCD is a dream come true, and for Ireland to win both competitions in one day is even better.”