The Alpha deBeta Society

The Alpha deBeta society was set up in early October 2011 by Kayle Crosson. Our aim is to “Develop the free expression of ideas through debating so that knowledge can be gained and minds changed”. The society also hosts forums on different topics concerning leaving certificate students.

All debates are open to senior students and debates are held at lunchtime on a Thursday or Friday.

The society also invites guest speakers. These have included well established professionals such as Mary O’Donnell who discussed creative writing and Judge Groarke. who spoke about the law.

Since being set up, the Alpha deBeta Debating Society has held many interesting and sometimes heated meetings. The meetings have been greatly supported by both staff and students.

The topics debated at the meetings varied from trivial motions like “Is there a Santa Claus?” to more sensitive ones such as “Abortion is a Women’s right”. The members of the society meet every week to discuss and choose a new motion for the debate to be held later that week.

Such motions have been, “The Garda Síochana should be armed”, “Obama is good for America” and “Feminism is still relevant in Ireland today”.

During the meeting the debate is not just between the two teams but the motion is thrown to the floor so that the audience may question points made earlier by any speaker. This has proved to sway the audiences view on the motion and therefore influenced the outcome of the meeting.

The motions debated at the meeting have been chosen with the students in mind as we believe they would be of interest and be topical to debate. Students are encouraged to attend the meetings with an optimistic mind open to change.

The Alpha deBeta Society is a group set up for students by students (with the help of Mr. Hughes along the way). It encourages free thinking, self-expression and helps each Bower Girl to build on essential life skills whether it be their presentation skills or merely being able to intelligently argue a topic.

Participation in the society enables each student to grow in confidence and broaden her mind. As William Penn once said “In all debates, let truth be thy aim, not victory, or an unjust interest.”

The Bugler Shield

In April 2013 the Bugler senior debating competition took place for the first time since 1986. After languishing in a school cupboard for twenty-seven years, the Bugler Shield was polished up and displayed for the occasion.

The two competing teams, with Katie Rock and Mairin Ryan opposing the motion ‘That This House Would Welcome a United Ireland’, came through a series of qualifying heats, so the debate that followed was lively and insightful.

The House rejected the motion but the adjudicators, past pupils Ms Ann O’Meara, barrister at law and Ms Gráinne O’Neill, solicitor, awarded the Bugler Shield to Bairbre O’Dwyer and Katie McClean, who proposed the motion. The individual speakers commended by the judges were Marion Gildea and Kayle Crosson.

The debate was chaired by Ms Alexis Mina, barrister at law, who was captain of the winning team in 1986.