On April 6, University of Miami’s Debate Team hosted a public debate with three collegiate debate champions from Ireland. The Irish debaters were winners in the Irish Times National Debate Championship earning them a tour of the United States, during which they participate in a series of audience debates. The Irish Debaters, Hugh Guidera and his partner Rónán O’Connor of Trinity College in Dublin, and Eoin MacLachlan of University College, also in Dublin, began their tour in early March in Spokane, Washington. After stops in Kansas City, Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta and Nashville, they made their last stop in Miami. UM has hosted the Irish tour for the past 14 years.
Thirty-five students and faculty members enjoyed the debate on the motion, “This House believes that the United States should withdraw all combat troops and strategic advisors from the Middle East.” A vote of the audience confirmed that the Irish, who spoke in favor of the proposition, won the debate. The Irish tradition of debate is focused on audience engagement, as contrasted with the American style, which tends to be more technical and focused on evidence. The debate was held in the SAC Student Senate Room. UM Seniors Spencer George, Ryden Butler and Joe Karam represented the UM team in the debate. David Steinberg, director of debate, moderated.